Larry Dignan, editor in chief of ZDNet, sees a silver lining in the Equifax data breach: the company can serve as an object lesson in how not to handle a data breach. Here are his conclusions:
Add it up and Equifax looks like a company with the following:
- A massive database with personal information that’s not protected well.
- Little technology knowhow.
- A need for more regulation — since it has more valuable data on consumers than Facebook or Google.
- Class action lawsuits on the horizon.
IMO Equifax is enormously fortunate that the weather has filled the airwaves for the last week. The company’s data breach, the malfeasance that may have followed it, the company’s response to it, and, above all, the broader implications of a breach of so much data of such sensitivity on so many people would have been big news by now.
One additional word. The “data breach checker” the company has apparently implemented is the looniest thing I’ve ever heard of. There is no conceivable way I would ever give out the last six digits of my Social Security number over a wifi connection which is the way most people connect to the Internet these days. I or any other knowledgeable person can deduce somebody’s whole Social Security number in seconds if given the last six digits.