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Messer to Former Equifax CEO: Not Fair That You Get a Bonus as You Exit

The Indiana Congressman is upset that nearly 4 million Hoosiers were affected by the Equifax breach

WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Rep Luke Messer (IN-06) questioned former Equifax CEO Richard Smith during his testimony before the House Financial  Services Committee Thursday following that company's massive data breach. The breach affected 145 million Americans, including 3.8 million Hoosiers. 

"It's important you remember that these people, 145 million of them, aren't just a number. They are real people who have had their lives put at risk," Messer told Smith during the hearing. "It also doesn't seem fair that you get a $40 to $90 million bonus severance as you exit after you presided over one of he largest business mistakes in modern American history. People are frustrated and they have every right to be." 

Messer also grilled Smith about Equifax's consumer privacy notice that will allow its third party credit monitoring service to potentially profit off the new consumer data it obtains by consumers affected by the breach. 

"The privacy notice on your web page says the information can be used for joint marketing with other financial companies," Messer said. "While I'm sure your intentions were fine, millions of people were hurt and now it looks like the company will continue to profit from them." 

He also questioned Smith about the firing of the employees at Equifax. 

"They lost their job. No bonus. No severance. Is that what happened to the people you held responsible for this?" 

Smith responded by saying, "I'm ultimately responsible and I stepped down." 

Hoosiers can check to see if they were impacted by the breach and get additional consumer protection information by going here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do

 

(PHOTO Courtesy of Luke Messer) 

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