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Will Equifax breach spur real reform? Don’t hold your breath

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As deposed Equifax CEO Richard Smith made the rounds at Capitol Hill this week for rehearsed, ritual, rhetorical floggings before several congressional committees, it sounded like the world of data security really might be about to change.

There were calls for major reform – for sanctions to include major financial penalties. Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) suggested that a credit bureau giant like Equifax – even one worth $13b, “might pay a little more attention if you had to pay everybody whose account got hacked a couple thousand bucks or something.”

Especially if “everybody whose account got hacked” is 145.5 million people.

Populist firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called for consumers, not credit bureaus, to have control of who sees their data, adding that in cases like this, “senior executives like you should be held personally accountable.”

There was outright mockery. “I don’t think we can pass a law that fixes stupid,” US Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) told Smith.

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