Tagged With equifax

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

Equifax discovered on July 29 that it had been hacked, losing the Social Security numbers and other personal information of 143 million Americans - and then just a few days later, several of its executives sold stock worth a total of nearly $US1.8 million ($2.4 million). When the hack was publicly announced in September, Equifax's stock promptly tanked, which made the trades look very, very sketchy.

In awarding a $US7.25 million contract to Equifax to help verify US taxpayers' identities, the Internal Revenue Service set itself up for a massive backlash. But in a letter obtained by Gizmodo on Thursday, IRS chief John Koskinen argues that the circumstance was unavoidable. Not awarding the contract, he writes, would have prevented thousands of hurricane victims from obtaining much needed…tax information.

If you've paid any attention to American news this week, you've probably seen Congress repeatedly taking Equifax's former CEO out to the woodshed. It's been quite the shellacking. And it almost seemed as if we'd finally reached a breaking point. America wasn't going to put up with companies recklessly handling people's private data, losing control over it, saying "sorry", and moving on like it's business as usual any longer.

Equifax's former CEO Richard Smith -- who "retired" after a massive data breach at his company resulted in the theft of personal information for more than 143 million people -- is set to testify before a Congressional subcommittee on consumer protection tomorrow. Smith will be expected to explain exactly how Equifax bungled its response to the hack, and his prepared testimony sheds some light on exactly what went wrong.