Legislators Host Hearing Examining Equifax Data Breach Impact

For immediate release:

CALABASAS, CA – Today, Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) joined Assemblymember Matt Dababneh (D-Woodland Hills) and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) for an oversight hearing to examine the Equifax data breach that compromised the personal credit information of more than 145 million consumers.

This joint hearing of the Assembly Committee on Banking and Finance, Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection, and Assembly Select Committee on Cyber Security heard testimony from several panelists on the impact of the data breach and reviewed options to protect consumers from future attacks.

“The data breach reported by Equifax that exposed the personal data of nearly half the country goes beyond disappointing or unsettling – it is horrifying, and people will have to live with the negative consequences of this breach for years if not the rest of their lives,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection. “Today’s hearing allowed us to garner a more detailed sense of the full impact of this information disaster, and begin a dialogue about whether our system is sufficiently updated and robust to respond to information age disasters like this one.”

“Financial institutions and corporations buy this personal data about our lives from the big three credit reporting companies, and until they hold Equifax and its competitors accountable, I worry we will not see real progress in protecting consumers,” said Assemblymember Matt Dababneh, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Banking and Finance. “The problem with the data breach and how Equifax is handling it can be best explained by John Oliver, host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight program. When reporting on the breach, Oliver said, ‘We are not the consumer – we are the product. Or to think of it in terms of KFC, we’re not the guy buying the 10-piece bucket – we are the chicken.’”

“Recent large scale cyber-attacks, like the one that happened at Equifax present a major threat to Californians,” said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Cybersecurity. “My hope is that hearings like the one held today will allow for California legislators to understand the ramifications and come up with an appropriate response that protects the citizens of our state.” 

Witnesses at the hearing included representatives from the California Department of Business Oversight, California Cybersecurity Integration Center, California Credit Union League, CALPIRG, Consumer Attorneys of California, VM Ware, and California Department of Justice.

Assemblymember Ed Chau represents the 49th Assembly District, comprised of the communities of Alhambra, Arcadia, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Temple City and portions of Montebello, and South El Monte.