Equifax breach could warrant new regs on personal data: White House

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that the massive Equifax breach could warrant more regulations to protect Americans' personal data. 
 
Sanders said the White House would look into “the best ways to make sure that Americans are protected” from breaches, days after the credit reporting firm acknowledged that as many as 143 million U.S. consumers had their personal data exposed to hackers.

Sanders was responding to a reporter’s question about whether the breach warrants new regulations on the handling of Americans’ personal data at the White House briefing Monday afternoon. 

“I think this is something we have to look into extensively,” Sanders replied. “Certainly, something we have to explore — the best ways to make sure that Americans are protected in that sense.” 

The White House press secretary said Tom Bossert, President Trump’s national security and counterterrorism adviser, would be one of the “primary people” taking the lead on the issue. 

The incident has generated intense scrutiny of Equifax after the company revealed that a U.S. website application vulnerability had afforded hackers access to Social Security numbers, credit card information and other personal data on as many as 143 million Americans for more than a month. The company discovered the breach in late July and has been working with a private cyber firm as well as U.S. law enforcement to investigate the incident. 

The breach has generated backlash on Capitol Hill, with multiple congressional committees promising to hold hearings on the issue.