Equifax apologizes as US watchdog calls for more oversight
Equifax Inc promised to make it easier for consumers to control access to their credit records in the wake of the company’s massive breach after the top US consumer financial watchdog called on the industry to introduce such a system.
Equifax’s interim chief executive officer, Paulino do Rego Barros Jr, vowed to introduce a free service by Jan 31 that will let consumers control access to their own credit records.
Barros, who was named interim CEO on Tuesday as Richard Smith stepped down from the post amid mounting criticism over the handling of the cyber attack, also apologized for providing inadequate support to consumers seeking information after the breach was disclosed on Sept 7. He promised to add call-center representatives and bolster a breach-response website.
“I have heard the frustration and fear. I know we have to do a better job of helping you,” Barros said in a statement published in The Wall Street Journal.
Equifax announced the free credit freeze service after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) director, Richard Cordray, told CNBC earlier in the day that the agency would beef up oversight of Equifax and its rivals.
“The old days of just doing what they want and being subject to lawsuits now and then are over,” Cordray said.