Chicago’s Department of Law has reached a $1.5 million settlement with Equifax over a cybersecurity breach in 2017, which compromised the information of 147 million people, including those in Chicago. Chicago filed a lawsuit against Equifax in 2017; the city claimed that Equifax did not have adequate data security measures to prevent a data breach.
“This settlement represents a significant achievement by the law department, which worked hard on this matter to enforce City law protecting against unfair business practices,” Corporation Counsel Mark Flessner said.
Equifax’s data breach was publicly disclosed in September 2017. The breach “exposed sensitive personal and financial data of Chicago residents, including full names, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and for some, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers and other personally-identifiable information.” The City of Chicago argued that the breach could have been preventable if Equifax placed and managed reasonable security measures as described in their public marketing and privacy policies, this would also be compliant with industry standards, best practices, and local law.
Chicago is one of the few major cities to reach a settlement with Equifax; the District of Columbia also reached a settlement. Chicago’s settlement is in line with other settlements other governments and individuals have reached against Equifax.
The Department of Justice charged four hackers in connection with the data breach in February 2020.