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Congress Requests Documents On Equifax Data Breach
Updated September 18, 2017 7:44 AM
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(WASHINGTON) - Two congressional committees issued a letter to Equifax requesting information on the reportedly "largest and most intrusive" data breach in U.S. history.

"While the sensitive data stored by Equifax is undoubtedly a target for hackers, Congress has a responsibility to ensure the PII (personally identifiable information) of all Americans is properly protected," the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said in a letter Thursday.

Andres Del Aguila of Talk Media News reports, Equifax, one of the largest consumer credit reporting agencies, learned on July 29 that hackers were accessing data for two months that contained the personal information of approximately 143 million U.S. consumers, the Atlanta-based company said in a Sept. 7 press release revealing the breach.

"This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do...," Chairman and CEO Richard Smith said. "We pride ourselves on being the leader in managing and protecting data, and we are conducting a thorough review of our overall security operations."

The Committee on Science, Space and Technology requested information that will reveal Equifax's security standards.

"Equifax holds a wealth of PII for tens of millions of Americans...," the committees said, adding that Equifax's ability to "secure PII has been called into question."

Equifax also conducts background checks and security clearances for the U.S. government, which has put the information of federal employees in jeopardy, the committees said.

The Oversight and Government Reform Committee said it wants to know how the breach impacted the federal workforce and national security.

The committees requested a briefing with Equifax by Sept. 28.

A staffer in the Committee on Science, Space and Technology confirmed with TMN that a joint hearing on the Equifax breach is in the works but said a date has yet to be determined.

In the wake of the cybersecurity incident, Equifax is offering free credit-file monitoring and identity-theft protection to U.S. consumers for one year.

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