Equifax Hack Gives Internet the Rare Gift of Pure, Justified Outrage

Online anger about the Equifax data breach will probably age pretty well, actually. 

Flickr / devdsp

As news of the Equifax hack, a data breach that rendered the information of 143 million Americans vulnerable, broke on Thursday, people were pissed online.

In fairness to Equifax, people’s outrage is in high supply online, over subjects ranging from low-calorie ice cream to eel-related disasters. But in this case, the outrage is totally warranted.

The fact is that the data exposed, including social security numbers, birthdays, and addresses, is some of the most valuable for hackers looking to commit identity fraud or unlock personal accounts. Combine that with the news that three Equifax executives sold millions of dollars worth of stock after the leak was revealed within the consumer credit reporting agency but before it went public and you’ve got a recipe for some sizzling discourse.

Many users took umbrage with the fact that the Atlanta, Georgia-based credit monitoring agency isn’t a client-based experience, and the users exposed didn’t choose to trust Equifax with their data.

Other tweets called out the callous behavior of Equifax and other credit monitoring agencies of its ilk.

Users also pointed out that if consumers want to check whether their data was compromised, Equifax has a site for that … but in the process, users waive their right to sue the company.

And the people who did try to engage with the process saw disappointing results, to say the least. Some customer service representatives with Equifax weren’t aware of the scale of the data breach, and the information-checking service was easily gamed.

A few people offered solutions, or at least ways that Equifax could make it up to customers whose information had been compromised.

But, overall, the feeling of anger and desire for some kind of recourse is palpable online, and for good reason. It remains to be seen how many Americans will fall victim to identity-related crimes as a result of this hack. Equifax’s future is also unclear. But one thing is for sure: they are extremely unpopular right now.

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