The Federal Trade Commission in the United States of Trump America, is sending folks mixed signals and our confusion has reached a peak we didn’t know existed.

Last week the FTC reached a settlement with Equifax regarding the data breach it experienced back in 2017. As part of that settlement, Americans affected by the breach are able to claim $125 from Equifax by filing a claim.

“The public response to the settlement has been overwhelming, and we’re delighted that millions of people have visited ftc.gov/Equifax and gone on to the settlement website’s claims form,” assistant director of the Privacy and Identity Protection division, Robert Schoshinski said.

But the assistant director then goes onto to highlight that the settlement agreement with Equifax only totals $31 million and that if everybody claims that $125 figure will drop substantially.

Instead, Schoshinski says Americans should opt for free credit monitoring.

“Frankly, the free credit monitoring is worth a lot more – the market value would be hundreds of dollars a year. And this monitoring service is probably stronger and more helpful than any you may have already, because it monitors your credit report at all three nationwide credit reporting agencies, and it comes with up to $1 million in identity theft insurance and individualized identity restoration services,” writes the assistant director.

Frankly Schoshinski, the FTC should have charged Equifax more than $31 million for exposing the data of 147 million people. And folks agree.

“Is the FTC aware that prior to the settlement, Equifax offered victims PAID credit monitoring? They tried to profit from their own mistakes. They should liable for much more,” one user wrote below the FTC’s blog.

“I am a widow, almost 70 years old and blind. I do not want monitoring. I want money which I have none of at this time. Are you sure Equifax is just not wanting to pay?” wrote another user.

Heading to the FTC’s FAQ section on its website the option to claim $125 has seemingly disappeared. Respondents can still select this option when completing the claim form but the FTC appears to be discouraging this heavily.

It seems like Equifax is really getting away with a slap on the wrist along with some work in the form of credit monitoring along with Experian and TransUnion.

Look we get that $31 million is a small pie to share between 147 million people but perhaps the FTC should have considered that when reaching a settlement.

By all accounts, Equifax, a company that reported revenue of $3.4 billion in 2018, looks to be getting away with a slap on the wrist.

[Source – FTC][Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.