WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following demands by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – Equifax has removed forced arbitration clauses from TrustedID free credit monitoring and identity protection services offered to customers after a data breach exposed 143 million Americans to identify theft. However, Brown warns that while Equifax’s corporate and affiliated websites still contain forced arbitration language, customers’ rights may not be fully protected.
Brown supports the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s efforts to bar forced arbitration clauses in all financial agreements – which would eliminate the confusion on this instance and ensure customers’ rights are always protected.
“This is a step in the right direction, but customers cannot be sure their rights are truly protected until Equifax makes this policy clear for all products and websites,” Brown said. “The fact that it took a public shaming to force Equifax to drop forced arbitration from TrustedID, is further proof why the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rule is needed. Too many financial companies, including Wells Fargo, continue to use forced arbitration to block customers from seeking justice once they’ve been cheated or harmed.”
Tomorrow, Brown will join his Republican counterpart on the Banking Committee, Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), in holding a hearing to examine the landscape of Financial Technology, or FinTech. Brown will use the hearing as an opportunity to question witnesses about ways to better protect customer data from future breaches.