Equifax will pay $700 million for data breach, report says

The settlement could be announced as soon as Monday.

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Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Equifax could be paying $700 million in a settlement.

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Equifax is reportedly close to reaching a $700 million settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission and other government agencies over its massive data breach in 2017. The money would also go towards resolving a consumer class-action lawsuit against the company, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday afternoon.

The Equifax data breach allowed hackers to steal the personal information of 147.7 million Americans from its servers, including Social Security numbers and home addresses. A House Oversight Committee report (PDF) released in December 2018 called the breach "entirely preventable," saying Equifax didn't take steps to prevent it and also wasn't ready to handle the aftermath.

Watch this: Stronger data privacy laws may be coming to the US

The settlement could be announced Monday, the Journal reported, adding that the money could also to be used to create a fund to compensate consumers for any harm caused by the data breach.

Equifax declined to comment, while the FTC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.