By now (September 8, 2017), most people have heard that there was a data breach at Equifax that has made over 143 million Americans vulnerable (about half of the entire country). Read more about it here.
Equifax hasn’t done itself any favors since the breach. First, it waited a month to let anyone know that their security was compromised. Second, 3 of its executives decided to cash out stock in the company a few days after discovering the breach. And third, in order to sign up for the “free” protection services, you have to agree to their Terms of Service, which basically say that you agree to arbitration and lose the right to participate in any class action lawsuit. None of those revelations sound good for the company.
But what makes this breach most annoying to the average American is that there was no way we could have avoided being involved. Most of us don’t do business with Equifax. We don’t open accounts with them. They open accounts ON us. We are their product, and we don’t have a choice in the matter.
Yet, we’re the ones affected. We’re the ones who will be cheated out of our money and thrown into the poorhouse if this runs the course it most likely will run. Equifax will protect Equifax long before it protects any of us. It’s entire model is not built on protecting consumers, but in reporting on consumers to big companies that give them business.
This is a lot like Facebook, even though you may not realize it. Facebook’s product is us, not its web site. Without us, Facebook has no business. Equifax is exactly the same way. The big difference is: Most of us choose to be on Facebook to take advantage of its use of us. So very few of us EVER chose to do business with Equifax, aside from the few people who wanted to monitor their credit before this all happened.
So, let this be another example to you that there are those companies out there who see YOU as a their product and aren’t willing to give you a single cent in order to exploit you. Feel good about that because it’s only going to get worse. Nuff said.