Perspectives is a series of musings from ACSC staff and occasional guests.

October 2017

Learning from the Equifax Breach

By Michael Figueroa, Executive Director, ACSC

The Equifax breach was a big deal for consumers. It gave us a small window into how consumer personal and financial data is used in the business community while also highlighting how powerless we are at protecting that data. Unlike most past retail data breaches like Target and Home Depot, this one impacts more than consumer credit cards. Those can be replaced with some limited cost. Rather, the data released in the Equifax breach is “permanent” data. We cannot easily change how we identify ourselves. Our names, birth dates, family associations, past residences, and social security numbers cannot be changed. All the data that forms the basis of legal residency, privilege to vote, ability to be employed, right to drive, and many other aspects of our lives is contained in the records that that Equifax and the other credit bureaus hold. In my mind, this breach is second only to the breach of the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as related to the potential for long term damage...

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