Thanks to a unique computer program, people affected by the massive Equifax breach can sue the credit assessment company by clicking a few buttons.
The DoNotPay chatbot was originally developed by Joshua Browder to assist people in fighting parking tickets in various state and local jurisdictions across the country. Now, Browder is applying the technology to help harmed Equifax consumers earn compensation.
He established a site that greets users with a search bar as well as the option to “automatically sue Equifax” by engaging with a chabot — an intelligent system that can, with various degrees of effect and fluidity, simulate a real conversation with a human. As of late June, Browder’s robot lawyer helped overturn 160,000 parking tickets in under two years, yielding a 64 percent rate of success and placing roughly $4 million back in people’s pockets.
For the Equifax ordeal, the maximum amount of damages issued could be up to $25,000, or as low as $2,500, depending on the state, according to The Verge.
Equifax announced Thursday that up to 143 million of its customers may have had some of their most sensitive personal information leaked after detecting “unauthorized access” to its systems July 29. The data included names, birth dates, addresses, social security numbers, and for some, drivers licenses and credit card numbers, according to the credit reporting firm.
The firm claims it responded to the infiltration as soon as it found out, but the breach and leaks reportedly occurred for roughly two months before Equifax was able to discover it.
“The stock sale certainly raises questions,” Dimitri Sirota, co-founder and CEO of BigID, an identity data protection software company, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Most US states have breach reporting requirements which means that at least the general counsel or the executive leadership would have to be informed and aware.” (RELATED: Advanced Cybersecurity: The Simple Password May Soon Become Obsolete)
Equifax set up a special website to assist customers with finding out if their information was leaked or stolen, and what to do if such actions are confirmed. But deep in the fine print of its terms and conditions contract, as well as the purpose-built site, it states that receiving help from the company may in turn legally waive their right to a lawsuit.
Both Congress and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Friday they will investigate Equifax, it’s data breach and the seemingly sneaky stipulations written in the company’s legalese-filled policy.
Likely due to the ostensible carelessness of Equifax, the highly suspicious timing of their stock sales, and the apparently underhanded helping hand lent to customers, Browder says he hopes to get people as much money as possible.
“I hope that my product will replace lawyers, and, with enough success, bankrupt Equifax,” Browder stated, according to The Verge. The DoNotPay bot only addresses small claims filed in lower courts. Class action lawsuits are also a possible avenue for clients (former and active) to try to receive money from the company.
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