Equifax binding arbitration opt-out information (unofficial)
This page previously provided a way to opt out of the arbitration clause in the Equifax terms of service.
This is no longer necessary, as the terms of service has been changed to one without an
Frequently Asked Questions
Will taking advantage of the free credit protection offered to breach victims affect my
right to take legal action against Equifax?
No! As long as you are only using services from the company's
Cybersecurity Incident & Information page and the free TrustedID Premier product,
you are covered by a Terms of Service that does not
include an arbitration clause. Equifax says “the arbitration language will not apply to any consumer who signed up before the language was removed.”
If you are using other products from Equifax.com directly, then you are still affected by the
arbitration clause and can opt-out by mail by following instructions in the Terms of Service.
What's an arbitration clause?
An arbitration clause is a statement in a legal agreement
that says that any dispute arising from the agreement will be settled through arbitration instead of through the legal system.
While this is a fine thing to agree to in theory, the imbalance of power between consumers and corporations means that
In Equifax's case it leaves a bad taste because it would eliminate the possibility of a future class action lawsuit, at
the very moment that the company is bracing for (well-deserved) class action lawsuits over the security breach.
What's happening with the submitted opt-outs?
All opt-out requests that I received (except the ones flagged as duplicate or spam) have been printed and mailed to Equifax. There
were 1,039 in all. If your tracking status is ready, it is in one of the batches.
Once I have confirmed that they have arrived through their tracking number I will purge any copies of the data that exist on
my hard drive and cloud backup.
If you're curious, the old site is below, but the form is disabled.
Update #3 2017-09-12:
The third and final batch is ready to mail. As Equifax has removed the arbitration clause from the terms that apply to
those who sign up for the TrustedID Premier product, the vast majority of users have no need to opt out. Because of this, I am no
longer taking additional submissions. Thanks for
overwhelming support in standing up against forced arbitration!
Update #2 2017-09-11 (PM):
The second batch is ready to mail. Good news! The Terms of Service link for Equifax's "security incident" information has changed to one that doesn't include an arbitration clause.
I've asked for clarification on whether this change is retroactive.
Update #1 2017-09-11 (AM): The first batch is ready to mail. I'm seeking clarification on what people without
a username can do; until then I am accepting entries without a username.
Opting out of Equifax's binding arbitration clause requires sending a statement by mail. If you fill
out the form below, I (Paul Butler) will print and mail your
opt-out message for you for free. There's no catch, it's just my way of pushing back against binding
Good news! Equifax no longer includes an arbitration provision in the
Terms of Service for the free credit monitoring service (TrustedID Premier) offered to victims of their data breach.
This means for the vast majority of people affected there is nothing to opt-out of, so I have discontinued this form.
I, [name], do not wish to resolve disputes with Equifax by arbitration.
My Equifax user ID is [username] and my address is below.
My address is below.
Pick an action
Your opt-out message has been received. Save this link to check back on the status
of your message.
Note: tracking are updated manually, so you might not see anything for a bit.
If you choose to allow me to mail the opt-out form, I will print
it and mail it for you. I will not otherwise sell or distribute the data to any third
party in any way, or use it for any purposes other than opting you out.
If you choose to print it yourself, the data will never be transmitted
over the network (the mailing address will be printed as well.)
What's all this about?
In light of Equifax's recent security breach, they are offering a year of
complimentary credit monitoring services.
their Terms of Service,
they include a binding arbitration clause which means you give up your right
to sue them in a regular court and must instead go through an arbitration process.
While the company has since clarified, under pressure, that the security breach is
excluded from these terms, binding arbitration clauses are a
that remove legal remedies like class action lawsuits from consumers. It is especially
reptillian that they would have consumers give up their legal rights in the aftermath of a
breach, for a product we only need because of the breach.
The arbitration clause has an out, in that you can opt-out within 30 days of signing up.
However, opting-out requires sending a statement by mail, which is sure to dissuade a lot of
people. In order to make opting-out as simple as opting-in, I created this site.
Why should I trust you?
It's ultimately your judgement call, and you're right to be skeptical of a stranger on the internet.
The best I can offer is that I have a long-established social media presence
and this isn't the first time I've used it to
take a stance against legal strong-arming. If you decide not to trust me, I still encourage you to
opt-out; if you use the Print button to mail the letter yourself the data will never
leave your browser.