Financial Services Committee Rounds Out Equifax Hearings

The House Financial Services Committee this morning rounded out a full week of congressional hearings for former Equifax CEO Richard Smith. Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) reiterated his earlier calls for national standards for data security and breach notifications.

Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) blasted the “stranglehold” that credit reporting agencies have on the American consumer and touted her newly introduced bill, H.R. 3755, the Comprehensive Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act. H.R. 3755 would shift the burden of fixing credit mistakes towards the agencies and away from consumers. It would additionally limit the use of credit reports in the employment background check process.

Ranking Member Waters questioned the relevance of Smith’s presence before the committee, arguing that since he is no longer a permanent member of Equifax he cannot adequately inform Congress of the steps the company is taking to address the breach. Smith defended the relevancy of his testimony, stating that he is still an advisor to company leadership.

With five panel hearings completed, both the House and Senate have had extensive opportunity to both criticize Equifax for its shortcomings and gather information on the breach itself. Whether Congress will use this information and come to a consensus on how to ensure consumers’ rights are protected in the future remains to be seen.


About The Author

Robert Freeman is located in the Washington D. C. office and brings with him more than 15 years of bicameral Congressional experience to Cozen O’Connor, having held several ranking staff positions with federal legislators. Robert is a registered lobbyist and is actively involved in politics. His practice areas include, but are not limited to, technology, defense, homeland security, procurement, appropriations, competitive sourcing, transportation, energy, trade, and foreign relations.

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Posted in Cyber crimes, Cyberattack, Data Breach, Data Security, Legislation, Privacy
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In the new digital world, individuals and businesses are almost entirely dependent on computer technology and electronic communications to function on a daily basis. Although the power of modern technology is a source of opportunity and inspiration—it also poses huge challenges, from protecting privacy and securing proprietary data to adhering to fast-changing statutory and regulatory requirements. The Cyber Law Monitor blog covers privacy, data security, technology, and cyber space. It tracks major legal and policy developments and provides analysis of current events.
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