A newly proposed Federal law, if enacted, will extract large fines from Credit Reporting Agencies that experience data breaches, and will also establish an Office of Cybersecurity at the Federal Trace Commission.
Last week we started hearing about the Equifax data breach, although Equifax had actually known about the data breach at least a month earlier. (The full text of the Equifax statement about the cybersecurity data breach is reprinted below.) The most stunning thing about this breach is the breadth of it: the Personally Identifiable Information (PII), including names, social security numbers, and driver’s license numbers of 143 million U.S. citizens were exposed in this breach. Here is what you need to do, right now, to protect yourself.
Every once in a while our U.S. Congress does something that renews one’s faith in our elected officials at the top. And this is one of those times. Following the damning expose last month in the New York Times, You for Sale: Mapping, and Sharing, the Consumer Genome, in which Times journalist Natasha Singer moved a rock and shed light on the fact that data broker Acxiom, and others like them, are amassing, collating, correlating and selling far more personal data about you – yes, you – than you can possibly imagine, Congress has with lightening speed (literally a few weeks) demanded that Axciom, and others like them, including Experian, Epsilon, Equifax, Harte-Hanks, Intelius, Fair Isaac, Merkle, and Meredith Corp., respond to a demand for information about just what information they are gathering on pretty much every American, and just where they are getting it from, among other questions. The letter was signed by Congressmen Edward J. Markey, Henry Waxman, G.K. Butterfield, Bobby Rush, Joe Barton, Steve Chabot, Austin Scott and Jan Schakowsky.