Tester Slams Former Equifax CEO After Breach Puts Thousands of Montanans At Risk
Senator to Equifax CEO: Your Actions Are Unacceptable
(U.S. Senate)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester today slammed the former CEO of Equifax for putting thousands of Montanans and their financial futures at risk.
Tester told former Equifax CEO Richard Smith during a Senate Banking Committee hearing that the company’s lack of action after a major data breach exposed the personal information of 367,000 Montanans. Tester specifically accused Smith of not doing enough to help customers after the breach.
“You aren’t doing a thing for those who have had their identity stolen and their credit rating stolen,” Tester told Smith.
Tester then criticized Smith for waiting six weeks to notify the public of the data breach.
“The lack of notification for six weeks – in this 21st century we live in – is absolutely unacceptable,” Tester added. “It is unbelievable.”
Tester also raised concerns that two high level executive sold $1.8 million worth of Equifax stock within days after the breach occurred and before its disclosure to the public.
“This really stinks,” Tester said of the stock sale. “It really smells bad.”
Tester last week grilled U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) Commissioner Jay Clayton during a Senate Banking Committee hearing about Equifax’s actions following the data breach and why it took six weeks to notify customers that their data was compromised. Tester secured assurance from Clayton that the SEC will hold Equifax executives accountable for any wrongdoing, regardless of whether they are still employed by the company.
During the hearing last week, Tester called for Smith to be held fully accountable for the data breach and to appear before Congress, despite his recent resignation.
Tester partnered with Montana Attorney General Tim Fox last month to provide instructions to Montanans who may have had their data compromised in the Equifax breach.
Over 145 million Americans have been compromised by the Equifax data breach.