Remember when tobacco company executives were grilled on Capitol Hill?
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It was political theater, and you are going to see something similar in a few minutes.
The former Equifax (NYSE:EFX) chief will be asked to explain that stunning and potentially ruinous hack. Your personal information, and that of 145 million others was stolen.
In the spring of this year, hackers got inside Equifax. They roamed through the files for four months before being discovered in late July. Six weeks later, Equifax told us about it. We could have been freezing our credit, going on defense, if we'd known about it. But we didn't. Richard Smith, the Equifax guy in charge at the time, will be facing some hostile questions.
Two points: Equifax does not serve your interests. It was not set up to help consumers. It was set up to help banks. They get all your information together, so lenders can decide if you are a good credit risk. Should they give you a loan? Securing that information is not their priority.
Second, watch the lawyers: they smell money. Odds are there will be a class-action lawsuit with people claiming they were damaged by the breach. Odds are, Equifax would settle. Odds are, the lawyers get the big money, and you get a few pennies, and maybe a coupon for a free credit check. Yes, I exaggerate, but you get the point.
The politicians love these hearings: They can display their righteous anger for the TV cameras and the folks back home. And you get to see the high and mighty taken down a peg or two.
But at the end of the day, your information is still out there and who knows how it will be used against you.