No empathy for former Equifax CEO at House hearing

No empathy for former Equifax CEO at House hearing

No empathy for former Equifax CEO at House hearing

Richard Smith will appear in front of the Senate banking committee and then later the Senate judiciary committee to face a new group of American lawmakers.

While Smith pointed to a lifetime credit lock for Equifax credit reports, all he could do with the other two credit bureaus, Experian and TransUnion, was suggest they offer a similar service.

From mid-May through July, an as yet unidentified hacker group gained access to a large swathe of this data-including names, birthdates, street addresses, credit card numbers, and Social Security numbers-the company disclosed last month.

In another exchange, Smith said he had "no indication of a breach" prior to the date of the stock sales, only of "suspicious activity".

"At that time, to be clear, we did not know the nature or the scope of the incident", said Smith, who retired from the company last week after accepting responsibility for the hack that occurred on his watch. The number of U.S. customers is much higher.

"This simply is not a company that deserves to be trusted with Americans' data", said Sen.

Representative Joe Barton wondered if companies like Equifax might do a better job protecting customers' data if there were federal fines for breaches.

Blumenauer said the news of the Equifax breach was public in early September, giving the agency time to re-evaluate its decision.


Late Monday, Equifax said an independent review had boosted the number of potentially affected USA consumers by 2.5 million to 145.5 million.

"I don't think we can pass a law that, excuse me for saying this, fixes stupid", Walden replied.

"The company has been around for 118 years and for most of those 118 years has done good things", Smith said.

Warren said this business mix creates a conflict of interest by making Equifax responsible for protecting consumer data while allowing it to profit from consumers' attempts to mitigate the breach. On Monday, Equifax announced Mandiant completed its forensic investigation and revised the number of people impacted by the hack. We wouldn't count on it, though, and there's always the possibility that the IRS will fall afoul of the kind of data breach that prompted this anti-fraud contract in the first place.

Smith noted that in addition to his departure, the company's chief information officer and chief security officer also left the company following the breach.

The massive data breach has also led to a number of high-profile departures at the Atlanta-based consumer credit reporting agency, including its chief executive, chief information officer and chief security officer.

"It would be a paradigm shift for the consumer", Smith said.

Equifax cut off the attackers at that point and began an investigation, but it did not grasp the scale of the theft - including the discovery that consumers' personal information had been breached - until mid-August.

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