Majority would join class-action suit against Equifax if hit by breach, poll says

Majority would join class-action suit against Equifax if hit by breach, poll says
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A majority of American adults surveyed say they would join a class-action lawsuit against Equifax if they were affected by the massive data breached disclosed by the credit reporting firm earlier this month. 

A new poll from Morning Consult found that 69 percent of U.S. adults polled would be likely to take part in a class-action lawsuit against the company if they discovered their personal information was compromised in the breach — including 44 percent who said they would be “very likely” to do so.

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Equifax has been under fire since disclosing the breach, which affected as many as 143 million U.S. consumers, on Sept. 7. Dozens of class-action lawsuits against the credit reporting firm have piled up in less than two weeks. 

The Massachusetts attorney general also sued Equifax this week, accusing the company of failing to protect data on as many as 3 million residents of the state.

The poll released Wednesday showed that, while Americans would be willing to join lawsuits against the company, many were unsure if their data was exposed to hackers. Fifty-eight percent of respondents reported not knowing if their personal information was compromised, and 55 percent were unsure how to find out whether they were swept up in the breach. 

Equifax said hackers had access to the information — including Social Security numbers, birth dates and some credit card information — for more than a month before the unauthorized access was detected on July 29. 

The company set up a website for consumers to check if their personal information was stolen, and it is also offering free identity theft protection and credit monitoring services. 

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have scrutinized Equifax in the wake of the breach, some offering legislation aimed at preventing or mitigating the damage from future such breaches. 

Fifty-one percent of U.S. adults polled by Morning Consult said they strongly support additional laws and regulations to prevent these types of breaches.