FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2019
Contact: David Segal, [email protected]
Demand Progress delivered 15,921 petition signatures today to the Federal Trade Commission’s Inspector General Andrew Katsaros calling on his office to investigate the FTC for its deceptive advertising on the Equifax settlement.
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.
In July, 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. But the FTC then backtracked, announcing that there were so many claimants that people wouldn’t receive anything near $125 and urged them to sign up for credit monitoring instead.
The following can be attributed to Demand Progress Education Fund Executive Director David Segal:
“The Federal Trade Commission led consumers to believe they’d get $125 if they filed a claim in the Equifax data breach settlement. But when we took them at their word and signed up, the FTC backtracked and claimed there wasn’t enough money in the settlement fund to go around. The government is supposed to protect us from scams and deceptive advertising–but under the Trump administration they’re in on the con. The $125 advertisement was clearly false and deceptive, meaning the FTC has authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act to police itself.”
“We delivered nearly 16,000 signatures today demanding FTC Inspector General Andrew Katsaros do just that by launching an immediate investigation into the FTC’s false and deceptive advertising surrounding its settlement with Equifax. The FTC should fine itself enough to ensure that all those impacted receive the full $125. Further, we demand the FTC issue an immediate cease and desist to itself and prohibit itself from making future deceptive statements.”
The petition to the FTC can be viewed online at http://failedtradecommission.com.