Forced to use them, irrespective of how we want to live
Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union all enjoy a captive user base. If you do anything in life your information flows through at least one of these companies. Need car insurance, a bank account, to get an apartment, to rent a car or moving truck, to rent storage, to buy a house, cellular, home phone, or cable TV services? Any one of those and more require that your information travel through these services which have proven time and again they lack security prowess.
But, here is where I think we as consumers must accept some culpability: from my recollection all of these breaches have occurred via pathways of convenience, that is, some Internet portal which has access to a back-end rich with data which we can access on a whim via web browser or app. While, yes, we expect that companies will keep our information safe, whether we want them to have it or not, we should also expect a severe increase in risk for having conveniences like web access to such data.
(Of course, we hear about data breaches so much I think we have on the whole developed a fatigue, complacency, and even ambivalence toward personal data collection
But where does the problem really fall? Is it our requirement for instant and unfettered access to information, the entities which fulfill this requirement, or the fact these entities are able to collect this information in the first place? Maybe somewhere else?
It aggravates me no matter how much I personally avoid (or at least try to avoid) situations in which I would be forced to give personal or private information to someone or something, others are quickly handing that information over, anyway. I avoid using Google products, but calling or sending a text message to an Android phone or email to a Gmail account exposes me. Even Some Business and its associated domain is not safe because it uses Google Apps for email, or Office 365, or its records are stored in Azure or Amazon cloud.
I do not use social media, but my family or friends post everything about their lives on it, and by extension when I participate in their lives they post mine, as well, giving me the only recourse of becoming anti-social. FFS, even some of my customers do it!
In order to survive this increasingly connected world I have to accept that my life may no longer be private, at least to some degree, and as such these entities which broker in information have to accept their place as responsible custodians of said information.