Librarian Wins Lawsuit Against Equifax After Huge Data Breach

The largely symbolic suit won Vermont librarian Jessamyn West $600
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2018 4:30 PM CDT
Librarian Wins Lawsuit Against Equifax After Huge Data Breach
This July 21, 2012, file photo shows signage at the corporate headquarters of Equifax Inc. in Atlanta   (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)

A Vermont librarian who sued consumer credit bureau giant Equifax following a massive 2017 breach of private data has been awarded $600. The largely symbolic suit by Jessamyn West was her way of showing people they have the power to arm themselves in the fight for data security, even when companies like Equifax and others go largely unpunished. In an interview with KrebsOnSecurity, West said she hoped her decision to take direct action against the company as an individual would inspire others to do the same. "A lot of people don’t feel they have agency around privacy and technology in general," West told the site. "This case was about having your own agency when companies don’t behave how they’re supposed to."

West originally filed the suit in small claims court for $5,000, where she argued that the widely publicized September breach was an undue burden on her as she struggled to deal with her personal data security and that of her recently deceased mother. A judge instead awarded her $690, with the $90 going to court costs and the rest recognizing the cost of two years of identity theft protection. As the Daily Dot notes, the judgment isn't much for a giant corporation like Equifax, but lots of little suits could add up. In fact, one claimant wrote back in January about receiving $8,000 in a similar suit against Equifax. (More Equifax stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.