Class-action lawsuit against Equifax filed in Hawaii

A North Shore woman is taking on Equifax as a part of a class-action lawsuit that seeks to enforce the company to better protect your information.

KHON2 first learned about the Equifax data breach in July.

The company tasked with monitoring and protecting your information was breached, exposing the sensitive information of more than 145 million people.

Equifax says the breach occurred between mid-May and July.

Terry Galpin’s identity was stolen 11 years ago. Today, she’s one of the class representatives for the class-action lawsuit against Equifax filed here in Hawaii.

“Your social security number is what identifies you for your life,” Galpin said. “So when you see things on the news like the Equifax breach, you have to be proactive. You need to take it seriously.

“If your information gets stolen, I’m telling you right now, the anxiety that it’s going to cause you and what you’re going to have to do to prove that you are who you are,” she added.

KHON2 also met with Brandee Faria, the attorney who filed the lawsuit, to find out what she hopes to accomplish.

“This is the largest breach in American history, maybe even the world,” Faria said. “When you sit here and think about tutu who, her life savings in is a 401(k), it’s a scary thought that somebody would have access to that.”

Faria says between 700,000 to 900,000 people in Hawaii could be impacted by the breach. That’s two out of every three adults.

The class-action lawsuit includes everyone, even if they haven’t been named. People will have the option to opt out.

“At the end of the day, to a certain extent, we want to change policy,” Faria said.

She is hopeful, but said it will take time.

“The amount of time a data breach of this sort is going to take to be litigated is going to be years,” Faria said.

KHON2 contacted Equifax to see what changes are being made. The company said in a written statement: “We take seriously our responsibility to protect the security of the information in our possession. We have taken short-term remediation steps, and continue to implement and accelerate long-term security improvements.”

Faria says she wants to hold Equifax accountable.

“If there’s financial harm that has resulted, because for some people there will be, Equifax should be required to make them whole,” Faria said.

The Hawaii Attorney General’s office says it is not aware of any cases of identity theft here in Hawaii so far that are directly linked to the Equifax data breach.

The company has set up a website where people can check whether their personal information potentially was affected by the breach.

RELATED LINK: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com

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