An update in the Equifax hack and how Chicago is becoming involved

HOLD FOR JENNY KANE In this Saturday, July 21, 2012, photo Equifax Inc., offices are seen, in Atlanta. Equifax Inc. is a consumer credit reporting agency in the United States. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

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Earlier this month,  Equifax announced a breach in their system that exposed credit card information, social security numbers and other personal data for 143 million Americans.

RELATED: If your data was compromised in the Equifax breach, here’s how you can sue

Last week it was leaked that Equifax knew about this breach five months before they announced it publicly. A couple days ago, their CEO Richard Smith conveniently retired with his $15 million in salary and bonuses in tact.

Now the Chicago Sun Times has received word that Chicago’s law department plans to bring action against the Atlanta-based credit-reporting agency, particularly for the crime of hiding the breach.

Alderman Ed Burke, who is also the City Council’s finance chairman, is leading the charge. “Our city could be the first municipality to take action to punish Equifax and its executives for plotting to hide from the public the hacking that victimized at least 1 million Chicagoans.”

Burke continued:

“If Equifax violated our municipal code, fines can range from $2,000 a day to $10,000 a day for every day the offense was in existence…Multiply that by approximately 1 million Chicagoans victimized by this scheme for 120 days, there could be a potential $1 billion in fines.”

RELATED: 10 ways to protect yourself after a data breach

Two other Equifax executives have stepped down since the hack became public. Some executives began selling stock as soon as they were made aware of the hack but before the public knew.

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