Warren seeks answers from Equifax

Warren introduces bill giving consumers more control over financial data.

Democrat Senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren is requesting that a probe is carried out into the cause of Equifax inc.’s massive data breach, in addition to giving consumers more authority over their credit card data by establishing a new bill.

In a letter addressed to Equifax EFX, she reckoned that the company “has failed to provide the necessary information describing exactly how this happened, and exactly how [its] security systems failed,” she also stated that the customer service information “did nothing to clarify the situation and actually appeared to be efforts to hoodwink [consumers] into waiving important legal rights.”

Warren also demanded to find out the precaution that two other credit card giants, Experian EXPN,  and TransUnion TRU, were taking to ensure that further breach of customer’s data does not occur in the future.

Furthermore, Warren is enquiring from the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to find out if they were properly notified about Equifax privacy breach by the company, and what steps were taken to remedy the situation. In another letter directed to the Government Accounting Office, Warren demanded that “a thorough investigation of consumer data security.”

Similarly, Warren and the Hawaii Democrat, Sen. Brian Schatz, on Friday introduced the Freedom from Equifax Exploitation Act. This move is aimed at giving consumers more authority over their private data, improve fraud alert protections, give a free credit report to those affected by a data breach and stop fees for credit freezes. The bill would also demand that refunds be made for credit-freezes fees that were charged in the course of the hack.

“Credit reporting agencies like Equifax make billions of dollars collecting and selling personal data about consumers without their consent, and then make consumers pay if they want to stop the sharing of their own data,” Warren said in a statement. “Passing this bill is a first step toward reforming the broken credit reporting industry.”

It is estimated that the Equifax privacy breach affected over 140 million Americans, which included driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers and social security number. This breach in privacy could leave customers vulnerable to financial identity theft and fraudulent accounts that could cause years of financial mishaps. “

This is about making sure companies like Equifax do right by the consumer, by restoring trust, security, and privacy to millions of Americans,” Schatz reckons in a statement. “You would think that, when it comes to cybersecurity, companies would put people over profit, but as we’ve seen with Equifax, that is not always the case. Congress must act to protect consumer privacy, along with people’s ability to get a loan, to buy a car, or even get a new job. There’s a lot at stake here.”

Warren reintroduced another bill on Thursday that would stop employers from requiring credit card report as part of their recruitment requirements from job seekers, highlighting that studies have revealed that credit reports are often incorrect and that the likelihood of credit-history errors is expected to rise even higher in the wake of the Equifax hack.






Mohamad El Hout, MBA, M.Eng., CISSP

Mohamad is an entrepreneur and a Senior Security Consultant dealing with the design and delivery of standard and complex security gateway solutions, covering a wide range of cutting edge technologies. His interests include business, technology, leadership, sports, and the continuous pursuit of knowledge.

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