MO officials investigating Equifax after data breach

MO officials investigating Equifax after data breach
(Source: AP Images)
(Source: AP Images)

MISSOURI (KFVS) - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that his office is investigating Equifax on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

The state attorneys general launched their investigation shortly following Equifax's breach of consumer files earlier in the summer.

"My office is working aggressively to protect the interests of Missourians in light of the recent Equifax breach," Hawley said.

Attorney General Hawley and other state attorneys general further called on Equifax to stop using its the breach as an opportunity to sell services to breach victims.

"We believe continuing to offer consumers a fee-based service in addition to Equifax's free monitoring services will serve to only confuse consumers who are already struggling to make decisions on how to best protect themselves in the wake of this massive breach," Hawley and other state attorneys general wrote. "Selling a fee-based product that competes with Equifax's own free offer of credit monitoring services to victims of Equifax's own data breach is unfair, particularly if consumers are not sure if their information was compromised."

Hawley requested information about the circumstances that led to the breach, the reasons for the months-long delay between the breach and the company's public disclosure, what protections the company had in place at the time of the breach, and how the company intends to protect consumers affected by the breach.

A copy of the letter is below.

Legislators are doing their part to ensure the security of this kind of data as well.

A bipartisan group of 35 Senators, including U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, are calling for the Securities & Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, and Federal Trade Commission to investigate the sale of nearly $2 million in Equifax securities held by high-level Equifax executives shortly after the company learned of its massive cybersecurity breach.

McCaskill also continues to push for her legislation to empower consumers by enhancing the accuracy of their credit reports and making it easier to dispute potential errors.

"We write to request that the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission investigate disturbing reports that senior Equifax executives sold more than $1.5 million in Equifax securities within days of a cybersecurity breach that may have compromised the personal information, including Social Security numbers, of as many as 143 million Americans," the Senators wrote in their letter. "In addition, there are reports that Equifax 'also lost control of an unspecified number of driver's license numbers, along with the credit card numbers for 209,000 consumers and credit dispute documents for 182,000'… We request that you spare no effort in your investigations and in enforcing the law to the fullest extent against anyone who is found to be at fault."

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