Rep. Loudermilk: Equifax Must Be Held Accountable
Washington, September 15, 2017
Rep. Loudermilk issued the following statement in regards to the recent data breach at Equifax:
"The data breach at Equifax has placed an unimaginable number of Americans’ personal information at serious risk. Not only must Equifax be held accountable for the breach of their systems, they must also be held accountable for their failure to notify the public of the breach in a timely manner. Businesses such as Equifax that obtain and store massive amounts of information on individuals must be held to the highest data protection standards. I will be working with the Financial Services Committee on investigating this data breach and the inadequate response of Equifax executives. Furthermore, we have already begun working on legislation mandating businesses to notify consumers affected by data breaches in a timely manner.
"Unfortunately, the outrage that followed the announcement by Equifax caused a gross mischaracterization of a bill that I have been working on since early this year. It was falsely reported that this bill (H.R. 2359) was introduced to give immunity to Equifax from any liability over this data breach. This couldn't be further from the truth. The FCRA Liability Harmonization Act (H.R. 2359) was introduced back in May, and is aimed at curbing frivolous class action lawsuits against businesses under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The businesses affected by FCRA lawsuits include community banks, credit unions, auto dealerships, retailers, and many other small businesses that extend credit to consumers.
"Reports that this bill would grant any immunity to Equifax for liability in this data breach are completely false. The bill does not give any immunity from prosecution or civil lawsuits for wrongdoing to any business. Furthermore, data breaches are governed by state laws, not the FCRA, so this bill would not apply to Equifax in this case at all with respect to the 143 million people whose personally identifiable information was compromised.
"Finally, given the unfounded attacks on me and the rampant misinformation circulating about this legislation, the Financial Services Committee has not scheduled further action on any bill at this time."