Schumer warns Equifax: protect customers affected by data hack

Sep 18, 2017

Federal lawmakers are demanding answers, and protection for millions of consumers, following a large-scale data breach at the credit-rating company Equifax. Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo on Monday proposed new regulations to protect New Yorkers' personal information.

An estimated 143 million Americans' personal information was exposed by a hack into Equifax's data. Senator Charles Schumer, during his most recent visit to Buffalo, blasted the company for not immediately acting to inform its clients of the potential risk.

Senator Charles Schumer
Credit WBFO File Photo

"They didn't let people know right away," Schumer said. "They didn't say we're going to help people out. They were awful. First, they tried to hide it, and now they're telling people you're on your own."

On Monday morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed new regulations that would require credit monitoring companies comply with the state's new cybersecurity rules. The state's Department of Financial Services would, for the first time, have oversight of credit reporting agencies.

Schumer has his own proposals.

"First, they let everyone who was hacked know exactly what was hacked," he said. "Second, they show them how to protect themselves and Equifax should pay the cost, not the customer who is blameless."

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office reported last week that the company had updated its language to make clear consumers who have signed up for free credit monitoring, in response to the hack, still have the right to sue.

Schumer says if Equifax's leaders cannot comply with his proposals, they should resign.