SF City Attorney aims to hold Equifax accountable with lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a lawsuit Tuesday against credit reporting company Equifax for failing to protect the personal data of more than 15 million Californians. This on the same day Equifax CEO Richard Smith stepped down.

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The lawsuit seeks restitution for California consumers as well civil penalties.

Herrera says Equifax's massive data breach impacted 15 million Californians.

"We're going to make sure that we use the law that is on the books to hold Equifax accountable," said Herrera.

The lawsuit alleges the company failed to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures. Also that Equifax failed to provide timely notice of the data breach until 6 weeks after it learned its system had been compromised. Finally that when Equifax did provide notice, it failed to provide complete, plain and clear information to consumers.

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"I think that this was a cascade of wrongs. Their incompetence would be comical if the impact wasn't so serious," said Herrera.

On the same day the lawsuit was filed, Equifax's CEO Richard Smith stepped down.

Herrera is the first city attorney in the country to sue Equifax over the breach.
"The numbers that we're talking about are in the many, many millions of dollars," said Herrera.
It's not clear what portion of that would go directly to consumers.

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"The most important thing is that we take steps to make sure CA consumers are protected," he continued.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for Equifax wrote, "We cannot comment on pending litigation, but want to reassure consumers that we are remaining focused on helping them navigate the situation and providing the best customer support possible. We are listening to issues consumers have experienced and their suggestions, which are helping to further inform our actions as we continue to improve this process."
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