Equifax Mess a Bellwether for Web Privacy Invasions

The massive breach of customers’ supposedly secure information at Equifax has highlighted just how vulnerable Americans are and how much of our Internet activity leaves us at the mercy of faceless, uncaring corporations. Reform proposals are percolating and we need to urge our elected representatives to act.

Expert Herbert Lin has recently reviewed the problem. Some excerpts:

  • (The Equifax breach) underscores the degree to which the current system puts the interests of credit reporting agencies above the imperative of protecting consumers’ financial privacy.
  • The presumption should be that consumers’ financial information is protected unless and until they expressly request that a party be given access to it.
  • it is also important to go beyond proposed legislation on free freezing of credit reports to require that individual reports be frozen by default, “thaw-able” only with the individual’s consent.
  • A credit report could be stored in an encrypted form so that it could be thawed only with a key held or managed by the consumer.
IndieDems Comment:
Hats off to you, Mr. Lin, for advocating policies that are desperately needed and should be the bedrock of how corporations are treated. The prevailing corporate culture that we ordinary Americans have to go hat in hand and beg them to treat us fairly is no less repulsive because it is so widespread. The credit reporting agencies are committing outright blackmail by forcing us to pay them to lock and unlock the release of our information. Corporations in general do the same thing by requiring us to notify them about wanting privacy in the use of the information they have on us, rather than vice versa. Or blackmail us by requiring us to sign an agreement to subject any complaint to arbitration rather than bring a lawsuit.
Corporations being able to treat us the way a police state treats its citizens must end. Government does not grant us our freedoms. We grant government the powers we want it to have. How in God’s name have we allowed corporations to reverse the rules regarding our rights?

Leave a Reply