Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has long been a vocal critic of corruption and injustice to consumers in America. In a recent interview with Marketplace, she has shared some details about her fight to bring Equifax to justice following their massive security breach last year.
Warren and her office completed a five-month-long investigation of Equifax and found numerous troubling details. Equifax failed to disclose the full extent of the breach to Congress and the American people; they failed to follow their own internal protocols for notification following a breach; they were aware of their own security failures, and they took advantage of an IRS loophole to secure a contract.
This information was gathered through testimony of Equifax executives at Senate hearings, through consultation with industry experts, and through meetings with other credit-reporting agencies. As a result, Warren has introduced two bills in direct response to the breach including one that gives the FTC the authority to penalize credit reporting agencies.
Warren and fellow Senator Mark Warner have proposed a $100 fine per customer going forward for any private information stolen and $50 more for each subsequent piece of information up to half the value of the company.
In addition to credit reporting, Equifax also sells credit-protection services to many other third parties. Even if you never do business with Equifax again, you may still be paying them if you purchase outside credit monitoring in the future. This is why Warren believes "Equifax may actually make money off this breach."