Investigation Shows 15.2m UK Records Targeted

Credit reporting agency Equifax Inc said on Tuesday that 15.2 million client records in Britain were compromised in the massive cyber attack it disclosed last month, including sensitive information affecting almost 700,000 consumers. Given the mess Equifax has made in its attempts to respond to this breach, you would think the credit bureau would be itching to fix its reputation in the eyes of consumers everywhere.

In one of the biggest data breaches in USA history, Equifax originally reported that cyber criminals between mid-May and late July had accessed the personal information on roughly 145.5m people, mostly in America, including social security numbers, birth dates and addresses. The company initially said that 143 million US consumers had their Social Security numbers, birth dates and other personal information accessed, raising that estimate to 145.5 million last week. The latest Equifax security breach, revealed last month, is now understood to have affected close to 700,000 UK-based customers. It acknowledged at the time an unspecified number of Canadian and United Kingdom residents were hit.

Equifax did not respond to requests for further comment.

Last week, former Equifax chief Richard Smith blamed a combination of human and technical error for the breach, which is not the largest on record but which could have leaked sensitive financial information on consumers. Equifax says it already started notifying these customers by post mail.

"It's time the credit reporting agencies put people over profits", said Attorney General Becerra.

Jackley says all three agencies have a responsibility to protect personal information and the least they can do is stop charging ten bucks to place a freeze. Equifax has brought every analytical tool, technique and data asset it has available to bear in order to "fill in the blanks" and establish actual consumer identities and attribute a current home address to them. Seven states ban or restrict such fees by the credit reporting agencies. Globally, it collects data on more than 820 million consumers and more than 91 million businesses in 24 nations.

Vanessa Coleman

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