Exclusive: Chatbot pioneer to bring Equifax small claims service to UK “in weeks”

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13 September 2017

Browder: I hope to bankrupt Equifax

Legal chatbot pioneer Josh Browder has launched a new service – dubbed the first automated law suit – to help those affected by the Equifax security breach bring small claims in the US, and has told Legal Futures that he is planning to bring it to the UK as well.

The hack of the credit rating company has affected around 143m US consumers, and there are estimates that tens of millions of Britons could be affected too.

All Equifax has said about this so far is that it identified unauthorised access to “limited personal information” for certain UK residents and promised to work with UK regulators “to determine appropriate next steps”.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said it was in direct contact with Equifax to establish how many people in the UK were part of the hack and what kind of personal data may have been compromised.

Several court actions have already begun in the US, but Mr Browder – who was made famous by his DoNotPay chatbot that challenges parking tickets in the UK and US – has launched the new service on the site that produces the paperwork to bring a claims in the US small claims court and points users to the court where they need to file it.

Maximum damages range between $2,500 and $25,000, depending on which of the 50 states consumers are in.

The London-born Stanford University student, himself a victim of the hack, told US website The Verge: “I hope that my product will replace lawyers, and, with enough success, bankrupt Equifax.”

Contacted by Legal Futures, he confirmed that he intended to bring the chatbot to the UK “within a few weeks”.

In the US, Equifax has announced that the arbitration clause and class action waiver included in its terms of use do not apply to the incident.

In July, Mr Browder announced that he was working on an ambitious plan to automate the divorce process with the assistance of a team of salaried paralegals, having also launched 1,000 legal chatbots covering simple legal forms in the US and the UK – including consumer and workplace rights matters ranging from maternity leave to landlord contract violations.

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