- The Washington Times - Friday, September 8, 2017

The House Judiciary Committee is being asked to investigate the newly disclosed Equifax breach that exposed the personal information of 143 million Americans.

Rep. Ted Lieu, California Democrat, sent a letter Friday asking committee leadership to investigate the massive data breach disclosed a day earlier by Equifax, an Atlanta-based credit agency considered one of the nation’s largest alongside Experian and TransUnion.

“Given the troubling privacy and consumer protection implications of this hack, I request an immediate Judiciary Committee hearing to investigate how and why this event occurred, to parse out its implications and to identify how firms can prevent such incidents in the future,” Mr. Lieu wrote to Committee Chairman Bob Goodlate, Virginia Republican, and Ranking Member John Conyers, Michigan Democrat.

Committee leadership should compel each of the “Big Three” credit reporting agencies to testify about the Equifax breach and discuss the measures they’re taking to prevent future incidents, he added.

“Ultimately, consumer credit agencies should be one of our lines of defense against cyberattacks, and it is deeply disturbing whenever a firm that holds such valuable information gets breached. Congress has a strong role to play in preventing such attacks on our financial and IT infrastructure, and must hold those entrusted with our most sensitive data to account,” said Mr. Lieu, a computer scientist and perhaps one of the more tech savvy members of Congress.

Equifax acknowledged Thursday afternoon that data including Social Security numbers, birth dates, home addresses and credit card numbers may have been compromised en masse after hackers penetrated one of its online applications and caused what some experts have already called one of the worst data breaches ever.

The company has contracted a leading cybersecurity firm and is investigating the breach with federal law enforcement authorities, Equifax said.

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