WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) released this statement following the announcement that Equifax Inc. has agreed to pay at least $575 million, and potentially up to $700 million, as part of a global settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and 50 U.S. states and territories, which alleged that the credit reporting company’s failure to take reasonable steps to secure its network led to a data breach in 2017 that affected approximately 147 million people.
“The Equifax breach led to the release of the private information of millions of users and put consumers and their financial futures in danger. It also exposed serious failures in cybersecurity standards in an industry that collects copious amounts of personal data from users. While this settlement may help compensate people affected by the breach, it doesn’t adequately address the broader problem of lax data security. Congress must act to ensure that a breach of this magnitude never happens again. We can start by passing my privacy legislation to protect online information, increase transparency and hold big companies like Equifax accountable when they fail to safeguard user information.”
Klobuchar sent several letters to the CFPB and the Office of Management and Budget in order to ensure the agencies carried out a fair and thorough investigation into the Equifax breach. She also pressed agency leaders in several hearings over their handling of the case.
In January, Klobuchar and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced the Social Media Privacy and Consumer Rights Act, bipartisan legislation to protect the privacy of consumers’ online data by improving transparency, strengthening consumers’ recourse options when a breach of data occurs, and ensuring companies are compliant with privacy policies that protect consumers.