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After Equifax CEO Resigns, All Democrats on Oversight and Science Committees Call for Hearings on Breach

Sep 26, 2017
Press Release

After Equifax CEO Resigns,

All Democrats on Oversight and Science

Committees Call for Hearings on Breach

 

Chairmen Declined Democratic Requests for

“Critical Documents Regarding These Topics”

 

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 26, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, the Ranking Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, led all Committee Democrats in urging their Chairmen, Reps. Trey Gowdy and Lamar Smith, to hold bipartisan hearings on the massive data breach at Equifax, which has been referred to as “one of the largest and most intrusive breaches in history.”

 

“These attacks pose a clear and present danger to our economic and national security, and we believe Congressional action should be bipartisan, comprehensive, and swift,” the Members wrote.

 

Chairmen Gowdy and Smith sent a letter seeking a small subset of documents from the company, but they refused requests by Ranking Members Cummings and Johnson to obtain additional critical documents.

 

“These issues are critical to millions of Americans who have been affected by this breach,” the Members wrote.  “That is why we were disappointed that you chose not to include any of our recommendations when you sent your document request to Equifax last week.  As a result, our Committees may not receive these critical documents regarding these topics.”

 

By its own admission, Equifax did not notify the public immediately about the breach, but instead, waited about five weeks.  It is unclear how long Equifax may have delayed in notifying the federal agencies it contracts with, including the Internal Revenue Service and agencies that conduct background checks on current and potential employees. 

 

This is not the first time Equifax has been the target of hackers.  In 2016, “identity thieves successfully made off with critical W-2 tax and salary data from an Equifax website,” and more recently, hackers reportedly obtained access to personal tax information from an Equifax subsidiary, TALX.

 

The Members also raised concerns about complaints from individuals having difficulty getting through to the call center the company set up in response to the breach; complaints that people trying to sign up for the free credit monitoring the company is offering cannot do so unless they first agree to waive their right to sue Equifax; and complaints that the credit monitoring service Equifax is currently offering “falls short of what consumers really need, because their information can be bought and sold by hackers for years to come.”

 

“For all of these reasons, we request that the Committees convene bipartisan hearings on the data security breach at Equifax, which by all accounts appears to be one of the most consequential cyberattacks our nation has experienced,” they wrote.

 

Click here to read today’s letter. 

115th Congress