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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin sent a letter Thursday to Interim CEO of Equifax, Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., to express her dissatisfaction with Mr. Barros’ answers at Wednesday’s Commerce Committee hearing, which Senator Baldwin first called for in September.
In the letter, Senator Baldwin wrote: “Once again, I urge you to ensure that every person whose data you believe was compromised is promptly and directly notified. This breach will have profound, long-lasting impacts on the integrity of many Americans’ identities and finances, and it is simply unacceptable that millions of them may still not know that they are at risk, nor understand what they can and should do to help limit the potential damage.
“In our exchange at yesterday’s hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, you refused to state whether Equifax would proactively and directly notify each of the more than 145.5 million Americans whose data was compromised. Furthermore, you reported that only 30 million individuals have utilized the website Equifax created as the primary means by which consumers can learn if they were impacted and access the limited services your company is offering to help them protect themselves.
“It is deeply concerning that only slightly more than 20 percent of affected individuals have successfully used this tool, which you said you have been promoting heavily through social and other media. Even if that number fails to capture those Equifax has directly notified because state law mandated it, or because their credit card information was part of the information compromised by the breach, it remains quite possible that millions of individuals do not know for certain if their information was exposed.”
Following this massive data breach, Senator Baldwin helped introduce the Freedom from Equifax Exploitation (FREE) Act to give control over credit and personal information back to consumers. The FREE Act would also prevent credit reporting agencies from profiting off of consumers’ information during a freeze, enhance fraud alert protections, and provide the opportunity for consumers to receive an additional free credit report following the Equifax data breach.
Read the full letter here.
An online version of this release is available here.