Recently, former Equifax Chief Executive Officer Richard Smith was bombarded by questions from the Senate Banking committee during one of three hearings on the Equifax fiasco. Both sides of the political spectrum were upset with the Equifax hacking due to the compromised information, which included social security numbers and other highly sensitive information. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio voiced his displeasure of the company’s lack of protection for personal information of customers by stating, “This simply is not a company that deserves to be trusted with Americans’ personal data” (NPR). Likewise, the latest development of the hack is that it affected approximately 145 million Americans.
Smith did acknowledge that Equifax data breach occurred due to lack of action regarding patching a software problem. Likewise, post-hack but prior to the public announcement, numerous senior executives of the company sold millions of dollars in stock. Additionally, Equifax’s consumer help saw several mistakes occur as well. After Sherrod Brown’s comment Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass stepped in and made her point as clear as day stating that “Equifax and this whole industry should be completely transformed” (NPR). In addition to that Warren voiced that when companies like Equifax have this type of slip up it should be the executives that should be held personally responsible/accountable and the entire company ought to pay compulsory and unembellished penalties for every record that had been compromised by the hack.
In addition, to the hearing, many senators have been calling and discussing with cybersecurity experts on potential rules for these industries to hopefully quell these types of massive hacks. Yet, Senator Warren made a rather detrimental comment against Equifax, which was that the company makes money due to it having no incentive to protect the customer’s information, which is why it has one of the worst cybersecurity around. Moreover, Senator Jon Tester made another claim, in which he stated “[T]he bottom line here is you [the company] had a hack that you found out about on [July] 29, you told the FBI about the breach and on that same day some high-level executives sell $2 million worth of stock” (NPR).
Besides the many comments and remarks concerning the hack, Senators also were quite unpleased with the compensation that Smith would be receiving as he prepares to retire from Equifax. Senator Schatz from Hawaii made the comment that Smith would continue to get paid his base salary as well as unvested options and to add to that a pension all of which totaled to a whopping 90 million dollars. Yet, Smith voiced a defense to that statement.