Tell the “Failed Trade Commission”: Stop deceptive advertising for the Equifax settlement


Petition to the Federal Trade Commission and its Office of Inspector General:  

We demand the Federal Trade Commission and its Office of Inspector General launch an immediate investigation into the Federal Trade Commission’s false and deceptive advertising surrounding its settlement with Equifax. The FTC has authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act to police unfair and deceptive practices such as this. In addition to a full investigation, we demand the FTC issue an immediate cease and desist to itself and prohibit itself from making future deceptive statements.

Emails under your name will be sent to Commissioners of the Federal Trade Commission when you sign this petition.

You know that $125 you’re supposed to get from Equifax for its data breach? Yeah, that’s not happening.1

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Equifax let us think we were going to get a cash payout, when instead they intended claimants to sign up for credit monitoring services.2

The government is supposed to protect us from scams and deceptive advertising–but under the Trump administration they’re in on the con.

Tell the FTC to investigate itself for false and deceptive advertising–and fine itself enough to ensure everyone gets the full $125 who signed up for it.

In 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that let criminals have access to the personal information of 147 million people–including names, social security numbers, and addresses.

Equifax and the Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement for Equifax’s gross negligence that they said included either free credit monitoring for 10 years or a $125 payout to claimants.

Last month, the FTC said Equifax would pay at least $575 million (possibly up to $700 million) because of its gross negligence and lack of security measures that led to the breach of customer data.3

But on Wednesday, the FTC announced that there were so many claimants that people wouldn’t receive anything near $125 and urged them to sign up for credit monitoring instead.4

FTC staffer Robert Schoshinski wrote that the “the pot of money that pays for” cash refunds for hardship “is $31 million.”5 As one commenter on the FTC blog said, did the FTC forget to do the math? The data breach affected 147 million people. There is no reasonable explanation for advertising a cash payout of $125 with those numbers.6

Tell the FTC to stop their false and deceptive advertising and ensure everyone gets what they signed up to receive.

Sources:
1. Federal Trade Commission, “Equifax Data Breach Settlement FAQ,” July 31st, 2019.
2. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information Blog, “Equifax data breach: Pick free credit monitoring,” July 31st, 2019.
3. Federal Trade Commission, “Equifax to Pay $575 Million as Part of Settlement with FTC, CFPB, and States Related to 2017 Data Breach,” July 22nd, 2019.
4. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information Blog, “Equifax data breach: Pick free credit monitoring,” July 31st, 2019.
5. Ibid.
6. The Washington Post, “‘Did someone forget to do the math?’ Consumers, advocates rail against lowered Equifax cash payouts,” August 1st, 2019.

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