NY regulator says Equifax making progress on post-breach issues

NY regulator says Equifax making progress on post-breach issues

Record-breaking back-to-back hurricanes in Houston and Florida brought unprecedented winds and rains affecting millions of Americans.

Richard Smith has retired as CEO and chairman of Equifax in the wake of his company's gross mishandling of one of the worst data breaches in USA history, which compromised the data of an estimated 143 million Americans.

The other two major credit-rating agencies, TransUnion and Experian, must shore up their security. This is the Deepwater Horizon of data breaches, and it should serve as a similar wake-up call for consumers. She noted that despite discovering the breach on July 29 and retaining a cybersecurity firm to investigate it four days later, Equifax failed to disclose those material facts during an investor presentation on August 16th.

The cost of switching away from Social Security numbers would be huge.

Smith's departure will not make life any easier for most of the USA adult population who had their information accessed and now must worry about impostors assuming their identities to obtain credit cards and apply for loans. For businesses, questions will emerge as to whether millions of credit accounts were fraudulently opened and additionally whether they will be held partially responsible for its perpetuation. At least 50 class action lawsuits have been filed. Morningstar estimates that total credit bureau industry revenue equates to only 1.5 basis points of total household debt.

Mayor Emanuel said the company added insult to injury by marketing what he calls a "fraudulent product" for identity theft protection that would prevent consumers from later suing the company and would begin to charge them a fee after the first year.

"The service we are developing will let consumers easily lock and unlock access to their Equifax credit files", Barros wrote. And meanwhile, I mean, we've been tracking how Congress has just been getting an earful from people wondering what Equifax, what the other credit reporting agencies are doing to keep people's personal data safe. Regular American people - potentially anyone who has ever applied for credit - must obsessively monitor personal credit reports for years to come, identity theft being a real danger that will not pass swiftly.

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The fact of the data breach isn't the only controversy swirling around Equifax, as NPR's Alina Selyukh has noted. The organisation has scheduled hearings in Washington DC before the House Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection.

"The massive Equifax data breach is one of the largest in our country's history, affecting half of the United States population and almost three-quarters of consumers with credit reports", said Chi Chi Wu with the National Consumer Law Center. And seeing multiple new accounts coming from the same IP address or device is a red flag for a single person creating many accounts. Follow any notices or requests for information that the IRS sends you those notices will give you directions on the next step.

The company, meanwhile, quoted Smith as saying "the cybersecurity incident has affected millions of consumers, and I have been completely dedicated to making this right".

What's more likely, however, is that Emanuel will gain political capital by filing one of many lawsuits triggered by the company's massive data breach-and that whatever money the city gets will be negligible.

Congresswoman Waters prefers a legislative approach - one that will ensure this type of financial disaster from happening again.

"Equifax just signed you up for a lifetime game of Whack-A-Mole", says Leslie Beck, a certified financial planner in Rutherford, New Jersey.

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