Former Equifax CEO testifies in front of Congress

4 months 2 weeks 2 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
BOONE COUNTY - A 10-acre fire threatened several homes just outside of Columbia Sunday. The fire was near the... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 9:04:00 PM CST February 18, 2018 in News
ROCHEPORT - With all 163 seats in the Missouri House of Representatives up for election this November, campaigns are getting... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 7:57:00 PM CST February 18, 2018 in News
LICKING - The Texas County Sheriff's Office canceled an Endangered Silver Advisory for an 85-year-old woman reported missing... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 7:30:00 PM CST February 18, 2018 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - A California man was taken into custody after deputies reported finding a "substantial amount" of meth inside... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 7:20:00 PM CST February 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia plans to pull together a group of professionals from diverse backgrounds to work on... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 5:58:00 PM CST February 18, 2018 in News
CENTERTOWN - A warm, but blustery Sunday morning carried the smell of gunpowder over Rock Creek Road in Centertown, a... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 2:07:00 PM CST February 18, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department will soon be supplementing classroom training with online courses, according to Public Information Officer... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 10:14:00 AM CST February 18, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A fire destroyed a home on East Mount Hope Road early Sunday morning. Boone County Fire... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 9:53:00 AM CST February 18, 2018 in News
Eric Hosmer is leaving the Royals. Hosmer signed an eight-year contract with the San Diego Padres for for around... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 12:04:00 AM CST February 18, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - More than 100 students gathered to compete in the 2018 Columbia Elementary & Middle School Scholastic Chess Tournament... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 5:22:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Father Tolton Catholic High School Blazers and the Battle High School Spartan Sparklers came to share their... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 4:49:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
ASHLAND – The Ashland Police Department is taking precautionary measures after a school shooting at a Florida high school. The... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 4:36:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH – Elementary students displayed their creativity on Saturday. Hy-Vee hosted a Junior Chefs Energy Bite competition. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 3:40:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police were unsure Saturday who drove a vehicle they believe hit and killed a man on I-70.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 2:34:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public Schools will have two high schools by August 2019. The district held a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 1:09:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boys & Girls Club of Columbia kicks off its 13th annual MFA Oil Rootin' Tootin' Chili Cook-off... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 6:35:00 AM CST February 17, 2018 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT- Leonard Stephenson has lived in his mobile home, on the same street, for over 20 years. "I... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 12:55:00 AM CST February 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Department of Mental Health is notifying 1,000 people that some personal information... More >>
2 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 5:16:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 53°
2am 54°
3am 55°
4am 56°
5am 57°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:00a
2018 Olympic Winter Games
3:30a
Inside Edition
4:00a
Paid Program
1:30a
Paid Program
2:00a
Paid Program
2:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld