The Equifax Hack and Corporate Irresponsibility
Most of you are likely aware that Equifax, one of three credit reporting agencies in the United States, reported that about 143 million individuals may have had their personal identity and credit information breached by hackers last week. The hacker stole the private information from Equifax data files. Many people will suffer the consequences of the data breach but like all “too big to fail” companies that are cuddled by the U.S. government, Equifax is unlikely to face the consequences that many people will.
What’s worse, is that the people suffering the consequences of Equifax’s irresponsible IT security did not have the right to choose whether Equifax collected their personal details in their databases. Equifax does not have to get your permission to collect your personal details. You just have to suffer the consequences of their irresponsibility.
The problem with data breaches of large companies is that the victims are not the large corporations but the consumers who have their data stored by these companies. It is the consumers that must deal with the disclosure of their personal information.
Gun manufactures get sued for the misuse of their product by their irresponsible users. Whether they win in court or not is immaterial because the gun manufacturer must pay to defend itself in court for the actions of others misusing their products. A gun manufacturer is unlikely to sell a gun to crazed person.
Likewise, cigarette manufacturers were sued and paid billions for causing cancer to their users, users who made their own decision to put dangerous chemicals into their bodies and those around them.
Both the gun manufacturers and cigarette makers are held to account.
But Equifax, like the major banks of the country can do as they please and at most pay a small fine, a percentage of their profits, to make the issue go away. Wells Fargo created millions of fake accounts and is still in business. HSBC knowingly laundered billions for the drug cartels and is still in business.
But sell smoking pipes, for legal purposes, as a small mom-and-pop store and the DEA or local law enforcement will likely run sting operations of undercover marihuana users buying pipes for smoking weed and mom-and-pop might end up in handcuffs if they knowingly sell to a teenager a pipe for smoking weed if the teenager asks if its OK to burn weed in the pipe as they make their selection.
Equifax will cost much inconvenience to many and it may cost some of them to spend money to protect themselves from identity theft and at most, Equifax will get a tongue-lashing from some politicos looking for votes.
What’s most insidious is that Equifax will bombard you with services of “identity theft-protection” and “credit security services” while you partake of their one-year of credit monitoring service as a result of the loss of your information.
Want to know one reason why Donald Trump was elected? Equifax is one reason. Equifax demonstrates the anger and disgust felt by many at “too big to fail” companies that are not only supported by the government but are also protected from being held to account bu it.