The Latest: Credit firms skip hearing on data breach

Markets Associated Press

The Latest on legislative hearings into information security and identity theft in New York state following the Equifax data breach (all times local):

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6 p.m.

A spokeswoman for Equifax says her company is "actively engaging" with state and federal officials following a data breach that exposed personal information for 143 million Americans.

The company decided not to attend a legislative hearing on identity theft and data breaches Thursday in New York, however. One lawmaker called that a "slap in the face" to New Yorkers.

New York legislators are considering proposals to impose greater regulations on credit monitoring companies like Equifax, TransUnion or Experian following the cyberattack on Equifax.

Representatives from TransUnion and Experian were also invited to Thursday's hearing but did not attend.

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Eight million New Yorkers were among those whose sensitive information was exposed in the Equifax breach.

3:20 p.m.

Lawmakers in New York are criticizing Equifax and two other major credit monitoring firms for refusing to attend a legislative hearing focused on protecting consumers' personal information from cyberattack.

Lawmakers hoped to use Thursday's hearing to question representatives of Equifax, TransUnion and Experian about the recent Equifax breach that exposed personal information for 143 million Americans.

Democratic Sen. David Carlucci said the companies' decision to skip the meeting was a "slap in the face" to New Yorkers.

Lawmakers at the meeting discussed the possibility of new regulations giving the state greater oversight of credit monitoring agencies.

Messages seeking comment from the companies were not immediately returned Thursday.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (SHNEYE'-dur-muhn) opened an investigation into the Equifax breach and is seeking information from TransUnion and Experian as well.

12:15 a.m.

The New York Legislature is taking aim at identity theft.

A state Senate committee will hold a hearing Thursday in Albany to learn more about the problem and the best ways to protect consumers and their personal information.

The hearing comes after a massive breach at the credit monitoring firm Equifax exposed sensitive information belonging to 143 million Americans, including 8 million New Yorkers.

Thursday's hearing was scheduled before the Equifax breach, but the massive cyberattack has focused more attention on identity theft and the need to safeguard information such as Social Security numbers, birthdates and drivers' license numbers.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (SHNEYE'-dur-muhn) has opened an investigation into the Equifax breach to determine what happened. He's asking other credit monitoring firms to report on their security measures.