Sep 152017

Chris Sanders reports:

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren said on Friday she has begun an investigation into Equifax’s (EFX.N) massive data breach and, along with 11 other Democratic senators, will introduce a bill to give consumers the ability to freeze their credit for free.

Warren, who has built a reputation as a champion of consumers and often challenges the finance industry, also wrote letters to Equifax and its rival credit monitoring agencies TransUnion (TRU.N) and Experian (EXPN.L), federal regulators, and the Government Accountability Office for information to see if new federal legislation was needed to protect consumers.

Read more on Reuters.

The fact that she has to ask is somewhat depressing. Why haven’t they been listening to us for the past dozen years or so while we’ve been getting cyber-laryngitis from screaming about these problems?

Freezing a credit report for free will save consumers some money, sure, but that still fails to deal with the bigger issues: that these companies collect and store information on us without our consent and there are no statutory consequences for poor or sloppy security. As we’ve noted many times here, the FTC does not have the authority under Section 5 to impose monetary fines for a data breach. Yes, perhaps they can get a consent decree, but what/where is the “OMG, we can’t risk THAT happening to us” penalty or consequence to motivate firms?

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