More Equifax Data Breach Issues

Lawsuits Filed Against Equifax

Days after the Equifax data breach, people rushed to freeze their credit. But, some received messages telling them they couldn't freeze their credit. No worries. If you do get a message telling you your credit cannot be frozen, simply try again in a few days.

In the meantime, CBS News reports Equifax is under new government pressure to explain how hackers stole the personal data of as many as 143 million Americans. 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee summoned the company's CEO to testify at a hearing in October.  About 40 state attorneys general continue to investigate.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said, "This is the most egregious data breach we have ever seen. It is as bad as it gets."

Healey plans to sue Equifax for violating state consumer protection laws, according to CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.

"If you're a company like Equifax and you're out there scooping up a whole bunch of data and information on people, we have laws on our books that say that you have to protect that information," Healey said.

Eric Schneiderman, New York's attorney general, may join in the lawsuit as well. He said when it comes to handling confidential data,  credit reporting agencies don't face the same scrutiny as banks, hospitals and others.

"I think you're going to see changes to the industry as well as investigations into whether the company or any individuals engaged in illegal activity," Schneiderman said.

Equifax discovered it was hacked in July but only went public last week. Sensitive data like birth dates, social security and driver license numbers were compromised. Equifax said it has hired an independent cybersecurity firm to determine the extent of the hack.

On Wednesday, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate. He said it's "an attack on our whole economic system."

"Right now we have 49 different laws around the country. We need a single law," Warner said.

Warner is one of 37 senators from both parties who also asked the FTC, the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission to look into possible insider trading. Three Equifax executives sold nearly $2 million in company stock days after the data breach was discovered. Equifax says those officials were not aware of the hack.

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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