Equifax, credit agencies may face massive fines for losing your data

Equifax, credit agencies may face massive fines for losing your data

NC county refuses to pay ransom to hackers Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (D-Mass.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank Comey back in the spotlight after Flynn makes a deal Warner: Every week another shoe drops in Russian Federation investigation MORE (D-Va.) have introduced a bill aimed at penalizing credit reporting agencies for breaches in the wake of the Equifax data breach.

The Equifax data breach, one of the biggest and most severe in history, exposed the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers and other personal information of more than 145 million people.

Should the bill get signed into law, the FTC would also be charged with making annual inspections of credit reporting agencies that make more than $7 million a year selling credit reports - a group that would also include Experian and TransUnion.

"Our bill imposes massive and mandatory penalties for data breaches at companies like Equifax - and provides robust compensation for affected consumers - which will put money back into peoples' pockets and help stop these kinds of breaches from happening again".

The bill, called the Data Breach and Compensation Act, would direct the Federal Trade Commission to funnel half of any fine to compensate affected consumers. Total fines would be capped based on a credit-reporting agency's revenue, but could increase further if the likes of Equifax failed to follow basic cybersecurity practices. It would also give the FTC the authority to write new regulations establishing data security standards. "Equifax might make money off the breach", Warren said, citing the sales of credit production products. Elizabeth Warren of MA and Mark Warner of Virginia, places credit reporting agencies under the watch of the Federal Trade Commission and establishes a brand new FTC Office of Cybersecurity.

Warren has railed against Equifax since the breach was disclosed.

Ian McKendry is the Congress reporter for American Banker. Whether data brokers do enough to keep that private information secure is under scrutiny. "But if companies like Equifax can't properly safeguard the enormous amounts of highly sensitive data they are collecting and centralizing, then they shouldn't be collecting it in the first place". The National Credit Federation, a United States credit fix biz, left 111GB of customer data on an open Amazon S3 bucket for thieves to find, although fortunately security researchers got there first and shut down that hole.

The DOJ has been probing the company and its executives over the breach, as well as suspicious stock trades that were made in the days after the breach was first discovered internally, in July.

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