How Equifax Botched Its Data Breach Response

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Wharton's Peter Conti-Brown, the University of Michigan's Erik Gordon and the University of Missouri-Kansas City's William Black discuss the Equifax breach.

The Equifax breach is being called one of the worst ever after it was disclosed that up to 143 million people — many of whom likely didn’t know they were customers of the company — had their private data hacked. The credit-reporting agency has come under universal criticism for its slow disclosure of the hack, attempts to charge people fees to freeze their credit, the initial inclusion of an arbitration clause in its offer of free credit monitoring, and top executives who sold shares after the breach was discovered, but before it was disclosed to the public.

Wharton legal studies and business ethics professor Peter Conti-Brown, University of Michigan professor Erik Gordon and William Black, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, recently appeared on the on the Knowledge@Wharton show, which airs on SiriusXM channel 111, to discuss the breach, the mistakes that were made in the credit giant’s response, and what consumers can do to protect their credit going forward.

In terms of Equifax’s response, “this is an absolute case study in doing virtually everything wrong,” Black said.

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The Knowledge@Wharton SiriusXM show airs Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. EST, on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM channel 111.

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