Speeches and Floor Statements
Scott Remarks During Hearing Examining Massive Equifax Data Breach
Scott Calls for Investigations by DOJ, CFPB & SEC to Restore American Confidence
Washington, October 5, 2017
Today Congressman David Scott (GA-13) delivered the following remarks during the full House Financial Services Committee Hearing to examine the Equifax Data Breach.
Click here to watch video of Congressman Scott’s remarks.
Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. First of all, I want to make a couple of points very clear. I represent the great state of Georgia and love Georgia very much. When this first came to me, when my staff first reported it, I immediately wanted to do all I could to make sure that we would be able to make sure that after this Equifax would be standing tall, that they would be clean. That is my objective as the Congressman from Georgia, because as you said, you represent a legacy of our great state. You are a 128 year old company and you employ 20,000-30,000 people, many of whom are my constituents and many of whom work and toil at your company. And they are great people doing a great job.
It is very important for the American people to know that what we have before us is a despicable, shameful situation for 145 million American citizens to lose the privacy of their social security number and all of that. But let it be known that it is the top of management, it is you, who is responsible for this. Now, what I want to do is be at the front of this spear to make sure that Equifax regains the confidence and trust of the American people. So my comments to you will be geared to that.
First of all, I want to call Mr. Chairman, and be the first to call, for an investigation by the Justice Department, the CFPB, and certainly by the SEC. Now Mr. Smith you are leaving this company, but there are others who are going to be there and we have to make sure that Equifax comes out clean and standing tall. Now what disturbs me, perhaps more than anything is the timeline. You said you became knowledgeable about this breach on July 31st but here is what happened on August 1st, your executives sold two million dollars worth of stock. Not only that Mr. Former CEO, it was your Chief Financial Officer that lead that charge to sell that stock. Now no one is going to tell me you get information on July 31st and here they go dumping their stock less than 24 hours later. That has to be investigated and cleared if we are going to get the confidence of the American people back. This is inside trading and anyone can see that. I hope your successor, that the guy who is taking your place, I hope he is listening. That would be the first thing.
And the second thing, we need to make sure these guys that sold that stock that made $653,000 in savings from that stock with that inside info pay that money back and that they are fired. 145 million people losing this with no justification, we have got to make sure, and you have got to make sure that we clean this mess up. Now I want to talk about the other way in which we can do this. You mentioned multiple times that it wasn’t the intention of Equifax to include the arbitration piece, well some have it and now some don’t. That’s the next thing to be done. No more of the arbitration clause, the public notice. Our job is to clean this mess up and make sure we bring Equifax back, standing tall. We owe that to the American people.
Now the other thing that I would like finally, my staff informed me that most mortgage lenders pull all three reports from the big three credit reporting agencies, so when you talk about this new free lifetime lock product it is not going to be effective unless everyone does it. I wish I had more time, but we are going to clean this mess up and restore the integrity and the trust of the American people.