Class Action Commenced Against Equifax Over Security Breach

September 13, 2017

An Ontario resident has started a proposed class action in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, seeking $550 million in damages on behalf of Canadian victims of a massive cybersecurity privacy hack of the consumer credit reporting agency Equifax.

Equifax issued a press release on September 7, 2017, in which it disclosed that criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to obtain Social Insurance Numbers, dates of birth, names, addresses, credit card numbers and other personal identifying information of millions of U.S. consumers and an undisclosed number of Canadians. Equifax set up a dedicated website to provide information to US customers who may have been affected, but there is no way for Canadians to identify if they were affected.

“The scope of the privacy breach is unlike virtually any other previous breach” explains Sotos Partner Jean-Marc Leclerc. “Retailers typically do not store information about social insurance numbers, or track bills, or keep records of items purchased with credit. Equifax does. Fighting identity theft takes years, during which a consumer’s ability to obtain anything with credit is compromised: purchasing a house; renting an apartment; or obtaining a credit card or line of credit, for example.”

As of the date of issuance of the claim, Equifax has failed to provide any information to Canadians affected by the breach. Therefore, the proposed class action seeks an order from the Court requiring Equifax to notify Canadians who have been affected.

The proposed class action includes all residents of Canada whose information was stored on Equifax databases and was accessed without authorization between May 1, 2017 and August 1, 2017.

The statement of claim alleges, among other things, that Equifax breached its contract with class members as well as their privacy rights, was negligent in handling their information, and breached provincial privacy statutes.

Sotos LLP represents the plaintiff.

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