Two years after a data breach left more than 145 million Americans vulnerable, Equifax will pay up to $700 million as part of a settlement with the U.S. and other states. The consumer credit reporting agency will pay up to $425 million in monetary relief to consumers and a civil penalty fine of $100 million in addition to other costs to provide relief for the breach, which exposed the social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other personal information of consumers, the Associated Press reports. “The consumer fund of up to $425 million that we are announcing today reinforces our commitment to putting consumers first and safeguarding their data—and reflects the seriousness with which we take this matter,” said Equifax CEO Mark Begor. The company will also pay up to $175 million in fines to end state investigations into the breach.
Affected customers are eligible to file claims for some conditions, including money spent on credit monitoring or identity theft protection and the cost of freezing or unfreezing credit reports at any consumer credit reporting agency. Impacted customers are also eligible for 10 years of free credit-monitoring and seven years of free identity-restoration services. Those who opt not to register for Equifax’s free credit monitoring can instead receive a $125 reimbursement for a different credit monitoring service. The settlement, which is set to be the largest data breach settlement ever, is still awaiting court approval.