WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, chaired by Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), today held a hearing to get answers for consumers on the Equifax data breach.
#SubDCCP members questioned former Equifax Chairman and CEO Richard Smith on the unprecedented cybersecurity hack that compromised the personal information of over 145 million Americans.
“This Equifax breach is a massive reminder of the bad actors that exist and of the security challenges confronting our digitally-integrated and data-powered economy. In this case, sensitive personal information that is used to build credit histories and allow individuals to engage in commerce—open credit cards, buy cell phones and appliances, and secure mortgages has been compromised,” stated Chairman Latta. “Reasonable security measures must be implemented, practiced, and continually improved by companies that collect and store data in order to guard against unauthorized access to sensitive personal information. Otherwise, consumers can face substantial financial harm. This risk is deeply concerning to me, and I know the other Members of this Subcommittee share that view.”
“We are here today to do what it appears Equifax failed to do over the last several months: put consumers first. Our job is to get answers for the more than 145 million Americans who have had their personal information compromised and now fear that they could be victims of fraud at any time,” stated full committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “How could a major U.S. company like Equifax, which holds the most sensitive and personal data on Americans, so let them down? It’s like the guards at Fort Knox forgot to lock the doors and failed to notice thieves emptying the vaults. The American people deserve to know what went wrong.”
In his opening statement, Mr. Smith told the committee, “Let me say clearly: As CEO I was ultimately responsible for what happened on my watch. Equifax was entrusted with Americans’ private data and we let them down.”
For more information on today’s hearing, including a background memo, witness testimony, and archived webcast, click HERE.