House committee to hold hearing on Equifax data breach

House committee to hold hearing on Equifax data breach
© Greg Nash

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) announced Friday that the panel will hold a hearing on the Equifax breach that exposed the personal data of more than 140 million customers.

Hensarling called the breach “a very serious and very troubling situation” and said the committee had already begun preparing.

Financial Services Committee staffers received a briefing from Equifax employees on the breach on Friday per their request, a spokesman told The Hill, and a date for a hearing is expected to be announced soon.

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Equifax reported Thursday that as many as 143 million Americans — nearly half the country — had seen data including their names, contact information and Social Security numbers exposed by a hacker. Some 200,000 also had their credit card numbers stolen.

“Large-scale security breaches are becoming all too common,” Hensarling said. “Every breach leaves consumers exposed and vulnerable to identity theft, fraud and a host of other crimes, and they deserve answers.”

Hensarling’s counterpart, ranking Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.), called on Congress to “diligently examine the way our credit reporting agencies are operating” and for Equifax to offer free credit freezes to affected customers.

The Financial Services announcement came hours after Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) called for an investigation from the House Judiciary Committee.