More than a month after Equifax’s massive data breach, details about the incident continue to trickle out, as a new report claims that data from 10.9 million U.S. driver’s licenses was compromised in the hack.
A new Wall Street Journal report provides details about the compromised license data, and also claims that nearly 700,000 people in the U.K. suffered a breach of sensitive personal data in the hack.
While hackers may already have more sensitive information from the breach — such as social security numbers — the driver’s license data creates more possible dangers for identity theft. License data includes height, weight, eye color, driver’s license number, and a home address.
Equifax has placed the number of American customers potentially affected in the breach at 145.5 million, up from its initial figure of 143 million. The company has also said about 8,000 Canadian customers were affected.
Financial Compensation Coming?
Many high-profile data breaches don’t end with victims getting checks — an offer for complimentary credit monitoring is typical, and even that’s not guaranteed — but a prominent attorney believes the set of circumstances surrounding the Equifax breach may actually see people getting paid.
Chicago attorney Jay Edelson told Fortune that successful lawsuits could force Equifax to pay out more than $1 billion, with much of that sum going beyond the pockets of the class action lawyers, and into the pockets of consumers. Edelson’s firm, Edelson PC, claims to be “a recognized leader in plaintiffs’ class and mass action litigation, with a special emphasis on technology and privacy cases.” The attorney predicted the lawsuits could be settled within the next two years.
A number of circumstances could lead to consumers getting more than usual when it comes to this particular case. The report notes that courts are more likely to see the inherent harm in data theft than in the past.
Though settlement estimates for each customer are low — $7 per customer was one figure given in the report — that will almost certainly change based on the exact amount of the total settlement, and how many people actually put in a claim on any available class action settlements. (It’s safe to assume that not all 145 million affected U.S. consumers will participate.)