The Federal Trade Commission today confirmed that it has opened an investigation into the Equifax data breach disclosed last week. “The FTC typically does not comment on ongoing investigations,” FTC spokesman Peter Kaplan told Politico. “However, in light of the intense public interest and the potential impact of this matter, I can confirm that FTC staff is investigating the Equifax data breach.”
Credit reporting bureaus like Equifax are subject to the consumer data privacy rules under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and the FTC enforces these rules for nonbank companies. The breach, which affected an estimated 143 million Americans as well as additional foreign nationals, is the subject of intense scrutiny on Capitol Hill. Equifax’s CEO has been summoned to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Oct. 3. Additional hearings are expected.
American Bankers Association resources on the Equifax breach include a customer FAQ, a message for banks to use on their website and talking points to help respond to media inquiries. In addition, ABA’s Crisis Communications Toolkit provides general data breach talking points, consumer tips, an FAQ for frontline staff, social media posts and more.