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Statement by Maryland PIRG Director Emily Scarr, on news that Equifax failed to fix its security vulnerabilities.
"The Equifax breach was already so bad for so many reasons. Reports today that Equifax failed to install Apache Struts security updates it was told about two months before its breach are beyond troubling.
Investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are important steps in holding Equifax accountable to consumers who had no choice to be in a relationship with them to begin with. Potential criminal wrongdoing should also be investigated.
Even with everything the Equifax breach has brought to light, many in Congress are trying to dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and get rid of protections, including our right to a day in court with companies like Equifax. Protecting consumers is not a left-right issue, it’s a little guy-big guy issue.
We’re recommending that consumers get credit freezes with all three credit bureaus. We’ve called on Equifax to pay for all those freezes, but consumers shouldn’t wait for that. Credit freezes are currently only free in seven states (about to be eight in October). We are working to make them free in other places like Illinois and Massachusetts where state bills have been introduced.
But Congress should lead and make credit freezes free for everyone in the country.
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