U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Calls for Senate Commerce Committee to hold hearing on Equifax Data Breach

Contact: press@baldwin.senate.gov,  (202) 224 – 6225 

Baldwin: “American consumers deserve answers about this breach and the actions of Equifax executives before this breach was made public.”   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today called on leaders of the Senate Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on the Equifax data breach.

“I write today to urge you to hold a hearing on an issue impacting the lives of millions of Americans – the recently reported data breach at Equifax, one the nation’s largest consumer credit reporting agencies,” wrote Senator Baldwin, a member of the Commerce Committee. “American consumers deserve answers about this breach and the actions of Equifax executives before this breach was made public.”  

Senator Baldwin’s letter to Senate Commerce Committee Chair John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) is below andavailable here:

September 8, 2017

Dear Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson:

Thank you for your leadership on the Commerce Committee in addressing critical issues facing American consumers.  I write today to urge you to hold a hearing on an issue impacting the lives of millions of Americans – the recently reported data breach at Equifax, one the nation’s largest consumer credit reporting agencies. 

According to press reports, beginning in May, cybercriminals gained access to the files that the company reports could compromise the sensitive information of 143 million American consumers, including Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, birthdates and home addresses.  Equifax reportedly failed to disclose this massive breach to affected individuals for weeks, meaning the risk of identity theft may have been further aggravated.

I am troubled by the company’s failure to address the breach promptly with those whose information was compromised, as well as reports that in offering credit monitoring services to those affected, it has requested additional sensitive information with the promise it will be kept secure. 

In addition, I am deeply disturbed that several Equifax executives reportedly sold significant amounts of the company’s stock before the breach was publicly announced and the company’s stock price plummeted. If company executives acted to profit off this failure, that is simply wrong.

This is yet another example of the failure of a trusted company to properly safeguard the personal information of their customers. A breach of this magnitude will undoubtedly have significant impacts on the privacy and financial security of millions of people, and merits the prompt attention of the Committee. I urge you to call a hearing promptly to address how this breach occurred, how Equifax will take steps to protect those affected, and how it and other credit reporting agencies are working to ensure that this does not happen again. American consumers deserve answers about this breach and the actions of Equifax executives before this breach was made public.  

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. 

An online version of this release is available here.

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