Former Equifax CEO testifies in front of Congress

6 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Tuesday, October 03 2017 Oct 3, 2017 Tuesday, October 03, 2017 4:16:00 PM CDT October 03, 2017 in News
By: Seth Fiegerman and Donna Borak, CNN

(CNN Money) -- Equifax just got grilled by Congress for the first time over its breach. Or at least one of its former executives did.

Richard Smith, the former CEO of Equifax, testified Tuesday morning before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the credit reporting firm's massive security breach.

Smith apologized numerous times throughout the hearing for the breach and said it was the result of "human error and technological error."

"The criminal hack happened on my watch... I take full responsibility," he said in opening remarks. "I'm here today to say to each and every person affected by this breach I'm truly and deeply sorry for what happened."

Congress members were unsatisfied with Smith's apologies. "You're just required to notify everybody and say, 'So sorry, so sad,'" Rep. Joe Barton told Smith.

Barton said it's time "some teeth" be imposed on the federal level, possibly by requiring credit agencies to pay consumers when their accounts are hacked.

On Monday, Equifax said its breach potentially affected 2.5 million more people than it had previously stated. The total number of people involved may now be as much as 145.5 million.

Related: How the Equifax data breach happened: What we know now

Federal agencies, state officials and members of Congress are currently probing Equifax over its data security practices, customer service response and the possibility of insider trading from executives.

The breach compromised some of our most sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers, addresses, and driver's license numbers.

Smith was pressed early in the hearing about executive stock sales that took place before the hack was disclosed to the public. He said the three executives who sold stock were not aware of the breach.

"I don't know exactly the date they were informed, but to the best of my knowledge they had no knowledge at the time," he said.

In another exchange, Smith said he had "no indication of a breach" prior to the date of the stock sales, only of "suspicious activity."

Smith faced questions from legislators about Equifax's botched response to the breach, the months-long delay in announcing it and whether consumers will be compensated for damage caused by identity theft.

Rep. Greg Walden, the Republican chairman of the House subcommittee, pledged Tuesday to hold Equifax and Smith accountable. But he said, "I don't think I can pass a law that, excuse me for saying, fixes stupid."

"How could a major U.S. company like Equifax, which holds the most sensitive personal data on Americans, so let them down?" Walden said in opening remarks at the hearing. "It's like the guards at Fort Knox forgot to lock the doors and failed to notice thieves emptying the vaults."

Smith said he would expect Equifax to "cooperate" with "particular legislation that arises out of this horrific breach."

The former CEO's appearance Tuesday marks the first in a series of Equifax hearings in Washington. On Wednesday, Smith will testify twice -- before the Senate Banking Committee and a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy. And on Thursday he will appear before the House Financial Services committee.

Smith stepped down as CEO three weeks after the breach was announced to the public.

After three hours of grilling, Democrats said today's hearing was not sufficient, pressing for additional hearings with the current Equifax executives, including the CIO and chief legal officer.

"I don't think this is resolved," said Rep. Anna Eshoo.

More News

Grid
List
OSAGE BEACH - Miller County sheriff’s deputy Casey Shoemate is being remembered for his great personality and his love for... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:33:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Here are the facts on violent crime in Columbia. For the year of 2017, there were 610... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:25:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A TARGET 8 fact check finds mid-Missouri county jails do not hold inmates charged with marijuana-related offenses in... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:19:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in Top Stories
AUXVASSE - Linnenbringer Farms is a third-generation farm selling beef, chicken and eggs in mid-Missouri. Luke Linnenbringer chose to follow... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:00:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - Sexual assault survivors said a march in Sedalia Tuesday sent an important message. Kimber Gish said, “I... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 7:54:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Federal health officials announced Tuesday they will be cracking down on the nationwide sale of Juul e-cigarettes to... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:42:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - As prom and graduation seasons approach, underage drinking has become a hot topic in schools and amongst the... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:18:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Opponents of President Donald Trump's environmental policy call his changes to regulations "ludicrous." Professors and scientists gathered... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:09:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The People for Ethical treatment of Animals, PETA, protested Tuesday against animal research on MU's campus. Organizer... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 5:01:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
MISSOURI - A new report from the Violence Policy Center, a non-profit group advocating for gun control, shows that Missouri... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - As prom season begins, Rock Bridge High School said it will be breathalyzing its students upon entry to... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 2:04:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS — The legal battle between lawyers from Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and St. Louis prosecutors is escalating, with... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 1:19:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County deputies arrested a man on Monday after he allegedly tried to meet up with who he... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:01:30 AM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Central Missouri Humane Society is celebrating its 75th anniversary, but its leadership isn't content with where the... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:44:00 AM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - On Monday, more than 100 volunteers began the week-long effort to deliver more than 5,700 meals to raise... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 7:04:00 AM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council met Monday night in a work session to discuss ways to improve Columbia's water... More >>
1 day ago Monday, April 23 2018 Apr 23, 2018 Monday, April 23, 2018 8:00:00 PM CDT April 23, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – Hundreds gathered at the first ever Japanese Spring Festival on MU’s campus Monday afternoon. Student Momoko Tamamura came... More >>
1 day ago Monday, April 23 2018 Apr 23, 2018 Monday, April 23, 2018 7:21:00 PM CDT April 23, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY – One local woman is reflecting on her decision to vote for President Donald Trump after some have... More >>
1 day ago Monday, April 23 2018 Apr 23, 2018 Monday, April 23, 2018 7:00:00 PM CDT April 23, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 56°
4am 55°
5am 54°
6am 52°
7am 51°