THE INITIAL DRAMA over Equifax’s September data breach has mostly subsided, but the actual damage will play out for years. And indeed, there turns out to be plenty of spectacle and public controversy left. It was all on display at a Tuesday Congressional hearing, in which lawmakers questioned Equifax’s former CEO Richard Smith in an attempt to make sense of how things went so wrong.
Before delving into the hearing itself—which went poorly enough—it’s worth mentioning that it was bracketed by further unfortunate Equifax revelations. The company announced Monday that the total number of people impacted by its breach is not 143 million—the amount it first disclosed—but in fact 145.5 million. Its ability to casually misplace 2.5 million lives upended by the breach is alarming, as is Tuesday afternoon’s revelation that the IRS awarded Equifax a no-bid, multimillion-dollar fraud-prevention contract last week.