More Tough Talk in the Senate About the Equifax Data Breach; Will It Lead to Changes in the Law?

by Jeff Sovern

Yesterday the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on consumer data security. The Hill covered it, in a report headlined Senators bear down on credit reporting industry over data security.  Here is an excerpt:

“If they lose my data as Equifax did, or if someone submits to them data that is an error that undermines my credit score, the bureaus have no obligation or interest right now to work with me to try to get the credit score correct,” [Louisiana's Senator John] Kennedy continued. 

Kennedy warned the industry that it needs to “step up” and propose specific reforms that would help better protect consumers in the event of future breaches. 

“Your clients need to step up to the plate here and suggest some meaningful reforms, or reforms are going to be suggested to them,” Kennedy said. “My advice to you would be to step up to the plate and offer specific things that you and your clients are going to do to improve the situation. Not platitudes, not bromides — specific suggestions.”

* * *

"Most of the adults in Louisiana had their data stolen," Kennedy said Tuesday. "They’ve had to go to a lot of trouble to freeze credit. Some of them are going to have their identity stolen. It’s just not right."

One of the things that makes Senator Kennedy's remarks especially interesting is that he is one of the Republican senators who has said he is undecided about the CFPB arbitration regulation. His statements above suggest he is not content with how the free market has handled at least the consumer protection problem of the Equifax data breach.

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