Equifax in dock as Treasury committee demands answers

DataIQ News

Treasury committee chair Nicky Morgan - the former education and equalities minister - has waded into the Equifax row by demanding answers over why the firm took so long to notify customers of its massive data breach.

Morgan has written to Equifax European president Patricio Remon and has also asked City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority for information on the firm's response and any further action it may be considering.

The move follows Equifax's admission this week that 15.2 million UK records were exposed and that 700,000 Britons are affected, after initially claiming that "just" 400,000 had been breached and that financial fraud was "highly unlikely".

Morgan said: “Equifax has taken too long to notify those affected by its widespread cyber-security breach. People have been left in the dark for too long, which has increased the risk that they fall victim to identity theft and fraud.

“It is particularly concerning that the breach occurred in a business that sells identity protection services, and is looking to take advantage of the commercial opportunities afforded by data sharing initiatives, such as Open Banking.

“Mr Remon has said that the immediate focus of Equifax is to ‘support those affected by this incident’. The treasury committee will hold him to these words, and will consider taking public evidence from Equifax, particularly if it does not receive a full and timely response to these questions."

Former Equifax chief executive Richard Smith was last week forced to explain himself to US congress.