Congress wades into Equifax over 'lax attitude' to data

DataIQ News

Equifax has been battered by the US Congress over failures in the wake of last month's massive data breach, with one congressman blasting "I don’t think we can pass a law that fixes stupid".

Earlier this week the credit reference company was forced to admit that it had found another 2.5 million compromised records, meaning that at least 145.5 million people have had their personal details, including credit card numbers, social security details, addresses, emails, mother’s maiden names exposed.

Appearing before the Congressional House Energy & Commerce Committee, former chief executive Richard Smith – who “retired” last week but continues to work unpaid at the firm – outlined steps the company is taking to regain the nation’s trust.

However, congressman Frank Pallone said Equifax had an “ongoing lax attitude when it comes to protecting consumer data" and warned Smith that “if Equifax wants to stay in business, its entire corporate culture needs to change to one that values security and transparency".

At the hearing Smith blamed “human error and technology errors” for the breach which came after Equifax failed to apply a software patch.

But Greg Walden, the chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, told Smith: “It’s like the guards at Fort Knox forgot to lock the doors and failed to notice the thieves were emptying the vaults. How does this happen when so much is at stake?. I don’t think we can pass a law that fixes stupid.”