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Equifax in the red as US senator Elizabeth Warren cracks down on company with new bill

US senator Elizabeth Warren has started an investigation in to the data breach at Equifax
Equifax suffered a massive data breach last week

Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) shares continued to slide after US senator Elizabeth Warren said she will introduce legislation aimed at cracking down on the company following a massive data breach last week.

The legislation will require Equifax and its competitors to freeze consumers’ credit reports on the request of consumers free of charge and restrict their ability to profit from data during the freeze.  A credit freeze restricts access to an individual’s credit report, which can prevent account fraud.

Warren said the bill, to be introduced today, would give consumers more control over the data credit companies collect.

She also said she has kicked off an investigation into Equifax following the cyberbreach, which saw information stolen from hundreds of Americans including social security numbers, drivers license information and birth dates.

Warren also wrote letters to Equifax and its rival credit monitoring agencies TransUnion (TRU.N) and Experian (EXPN.L), federal regulators, and the Government Accountability Office for information to see if new federal legislation was needed to protect consumers.

“I am troubled by this attack - described as ‘one of the largest risks to personally sensitive information in recent years’ - and by the fact that it represents the third recent instance of a data breach of Equifax or its subsidiaries that has endangered American’s personal information,” she wrote in a letter to Equifax chairman and chief executive Richard Smith.

Equifax creates individual credit reports used by lenders to assess the creditworthiness of consumers. 

Shares fell 0.68% to US$96.00 each in US pre-market trading. 

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