Equifax To Protect IRS Data. What Could Go Wrong?

lube up equifax awarded irs contract to safeguard taxpayer data

A fox was selected by U.S. government to protect the hen house.

Should we lube up to be Equifucked one more time?

It apparently isn’t enough that Equifax executives dumped shares of the company stock when they knew full well that consumer data was compromised months prior. Nor was it enough that Equifax willingly duped scared folks into signing up for credit monitoring that will only be free for one year – with the fine-print proviso that by signing up for this “service” that you waive your right to sue them.

Nope.

Instead of an SEC audit up their asses, they get more filthy lucre from the federal agency that audits OUR asses.

If you can prove damages that are in any way tied to the Equifax breach, sue this company into oblivion.

From Zero Hedge. Read the full article here.

Just hours after Equifax CEO Rick Smith wrapped up his testimony before the House Energy and Commerce committee – the first in a series of Congressional “fact-finding missions” about the hack – Politico reported that the IRS last week awarded the disgraced credit monitoring bureau with a $7.25 no-bid contract even as the company struggled to address suspicions that it mislead investors and customers by withholding information about one of the most damaging data breaches in US history.

Equifax famously waited more than a month to disclose that hackers had infiltrated its servers and absconded with the sensitive financial information of more than 140 million customers, sparking widespread outrage that only intensified after reporters discovered that several of the company’s senior executives – including its CFO – cashed out of shares and options in the weeks before the company came clean about the hack.

According to the terms of the IRS contract, Equifax would be responsible for verifying taxpayer identities and help prevent fraud under a no-bid contract issued last week.

As if the IRS’s decision to entrust the disgraced credit bureau with sensitive taxpayer data wasn’t galling enough, the agency seemingly fast-tracked the contract by classifying it as a “sole source order” – a designation that allows the agency to circumvent the bidding process by claiming a given vendor is the only one capable of executing the contract. However, the agency’s justification for this designation is baffling, considering that there are two other credit bureaus in the US that offer a nearly identical suite of services.

The notice describes the contract as a “sole source order,” meaning Equifax is the only company deemed capable of providing the service. It says the order was issued to prevent a lapse in identity checks while officials resolve a dispute over a separate contract.

Lawmakers from both parties demanded an explanation from the agency, which has endured several memorable data-security lapses – including a 2015 breach that exposed the sensitive financial information of more than 100,000 taxpayers.

Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) separately penned letters to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen demanding he explain the agency’s rationale for awarding the contract to Equifax and provide information on any alternatives the agency considered. “I was initially under the impression that my staff was sharing a copy of the Onion, until I realized this story was, in fact, true,” Blumenauer wrote.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch criticized the agency’s decision as “irresponsible.”

“In the wake of one of the most massive data breaches in a decade, it’s irresponsible for the IRS to turn over millions in taxpayer dollars to a company that has yet to offer a succinct answer on how at least 145 million Americans had personally identifiable information exposed,” Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told POLITICO in a statement.

Hatch raised concerns about the IRS’s cybersecurity practices in a letter sent to the agency’s head last month. To help the agency improve its data-security safeguards, Congress recently allocated $106.4 million to bolster the agency’s identity theft protections.

Hatch questioned the agency’s security systems in a letter to Koskinen last month. Hatch said he was concerned that the IRS lacked the technology necessary “to safeguard the integrity of our tax administration system.”
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1 Comment

  1. SHUT UP, GET BACK IN LINE! Pay your taxes on time or we’ll send jack booted thugs with guns to steal the rest of YOUR stuff and put you in a cage! And, all at your neighbor’s expense, what a racket, where can I get one of those???
    Government… the only place that I know of where incompetence and stupidity are recognized, rewarded and encouraged! When will people realize that they do not need government, it is they that need people, for legitimacy and taxes! WTF does gov do for you???
    Peace, L.

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