Former Equifax CEO testifies in front of Congress

9 months 1 week 4 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
COLUMBIA- Ragtag Cinema showed the World Cup Final against France and Croatia Sunday on its movie screens free of charge.... More >>
25 minutes ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 7:53:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in Continuous News
BOONE COUNTY - Two cities in Boone County have higher numbers of traffic stops involving minorities, according to an annual... More >>
1 hour ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 6:56:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
(CNN Money) -- Amazon has successfully invented a new shopping holiday, and it's set to capitalize on the rewards. ... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 5:19:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities shot and killed a man suspected of shooting three Kansas City police officers, a newspaper... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 1:34:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
CHICAGO (AP) — Footage from body cameras and surveillance cameras shows that a man who was shot and killed by... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 11:07:56 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A proposed ballot initiative aims to replace Missouri's system for drawing state legislative districts with a... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 10:46:43 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The amount of water being released into the lower Missouri River will likely remain above normal... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 10:27:00 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - 37-year-old Brett Davidson of Clarksville, Tennessee was pronounced dead after drowning in the Lake of the Ozarks,... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 9:53:00 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Senator Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley both met with supporters and volunteers Saturday at each of their... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 10:43:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - A 17-year-old from Jefferson City will be competing at the CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin, in August.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 6:50:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - House hunters are looking beyond Columbia due to a lack of middle-income housing in the city. Realtor... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 5:00:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
(CNN Money) -- Microsoft has helped innovate facial recognition software. Now it's urging the US government to enact regulation to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 3:22:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA — Seven cases of cyclosporiasis in Missouri may be linked to eating McDonald's salads, the Missouri Department of Health... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 2:33:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The U.S. homeland security secretary said on Saturday there are no signs that Russia is targeting this... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 2:20:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A paragliding protester hovered within surprising proximity of President Donald Trump on Friday night as the president admired... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 1:38:05 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - KOMU 8 News was in contact with the Callaway County Sheriff at 1 p.m. They said that... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 1:09:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some Missouri nurses will soon be able to take advantage of a pilot program that allows... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 11:00:00 AM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- If movie-streaming seems like Goliath, Blockbuster video store owners are an industry's Davids still fighting to keep the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 8:29:00 AM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 90°
9pm 85°
10pm 83°
11pm 79°
12am 78°