Marriott, Equifax CEOs Called to Testify to Congress About Data Breaches
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On Thursday, the CEOs for Marriott and Equifax will testify before Congress about the massive data breaches at their respective companies that affected up to a combined 528 million people.
As announced Monday, US Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Tom Carper (D-Delaware) — the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) — will hold a hearing to “examine the causes and scope of private sector data breaches that expose the most sensitive information of millions of Americans.”
Equifax originally reported in September 2017 that hackers gained access to the sensitive information — including consumer names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license and credit card numbers, email addresses and phone numbers — of 145.5 million Americans.
Marriott announced in November 2018 that up to 500 million guests were affected by a data breach, which lasted from 2014 to 2018. The hotel chain has since walked this number back to “383 million unique guests.” This includes more than passport data for more than 25 million guests — including more than 5 million passport numbers that weren’t encrypted.
A Marriott representative has confirmed Arne Sorenson — Marriott’s President and CEO — will attend the hearing. This will be the first time that a representative will testify in front of Congress about the breach.
In mid-Feburary, Marriott provided a way for guests to find out if they are one of the millions of guests affected by the breach. However, you need to submit a webform with your personal information and then wait to hear back, and I still haven’t heard back in the three weeks since I submitted my request.
While this will be the first appearance for Marriott, this is far from the first hearing for Equifax. CEO Mark Begor — which was installed as CEO after the breach — most recently appeared in front of the Committee on Financial Services on Feb. 26, 2019.
It’s unclear whether Equifax’s testimony will make a difference to the “bipartisan report detailing the repeated failures over the years on the part of Equifax that led to the devastating breach in 2017” that the committee plans to release at the time of the hearing.
The hearing will be held in Washington, DC, in room SD-106 of the Senate Office Building starting at 10:00am Thursday, March 7. For those that are interested in listening to the testimony, there will be a livestream of the hearing here.
Featured image by Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.
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