Legal Questions? / Legal Answers!
The Equifax Breach. What You Might Need To Know
"This data breach from Equifax may affect a lot of us here in Maine. I thought we all might wonder what Maine Law says about Equifax's obligation to lets us know personally, if a breach happen to any of us. Turns out they do! A class action lawsuit will no doubt happen soon enough. If your on the list, you'll be contacted and asked to either sign off, or accept a check. see: Class Action Law Suits"
MAINE LAW on electronic data breaches: requires people who maintain computerized personal data (such as SSNs, Drivers license or state ID numbers, Account, credit and debit card numbers) who become aware of a security breach to "conduct in good faith a reasonable and prompt investigation to determine the likelihood that personal information has been or will be misuse."
Certain NOTIFICATION requirements for Customers: Any other business maintaining personal info must notify residents whose personal data has been misused or it is reasonably possible that it may be misused. These notifications must be made "as expediently as possible and without unreasonable delay." but you should consult with law enforcement if a criminal investigation is opened to make sure the notice won't interfere with the investigation.
"This breach happened late July and not announced until Sept. 9th. In my investigation I noticed Maine did not give a time limit but instead listed it as "reasonable and prompt investigation". Most other states give a 7 day notice after determining a company had been breached. Selling Identify Theft Protection is what Equifax does! It's what they sell and now will give it to you (if your affected) for FREE. I do not believe the Maine AG is going to allow them to skate on this.
If your name is on the list and they contact you as their are supposed to, you should be automatically part of a class action lawsuit.
Consumer reporting agencies aka Credit Bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion). If a breach requires notice to more than 1,000 people, the business has an obligation to notify the credit bureaus.
Maine law not only authorizes the placement of a fraud alert, but also permits consumers to "freeze" their credit reports.
"So what does this mean for you here in Maine?? Well the link below will take to to a pdf that will show you steps, on how to freeze and unfreeze your credit report."
Maine Freeze and Unfreeze Instructions
Wait!... In case you'd like to know if your on any other breach list in Maine. The Excell link below shows all breaches in Maine. If you find your on the list, but was never notified, you may want to investigate as to why.
Maine Data Breach Notices (Excell)
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My Final Thought...
"BTW - Last year at my summer party I rented a bounce house and a waterside and put both on my Discover card. I took them back on Monday and an hour later received a call from my Discover card company asking me if I was using my card in Penn. Of course not. They just saw that I return those balloons and got credit for the downpayment on my card. They then noticed I was now in Penn getting gas and called me. The excell link has a lot of Discover breaches.
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