The man who led Equifax (EFX) for 12 years before is scheduled to testify before a congressional committee on Tuesday to explain the massive data hack that hit the credit bureau earlier this year. Richard E. Smith is expected to explain how 145.5 million customers' personal and financial information was exposed in one of the largest corporate hacks in history. Smith will say he is "deeply sorry," according to released Monday.
How to watch the Equifax ex-CEO testimony:
Tuesday kicks off what is likely to be an apology tour for Smith. After testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he's scheduled to appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday and at the House Financial Services Committee the following day.
Wall Street will be watching his performance on Tuesday closely, as it's expected to set the tone for the rest of the week. If he stumbles or otherwise gives the impression Equifax did less than it could have to deter a breach of its systems, it raises the risk of legislation limiting how consumers' data is collected, or requiring consumer consent for credit bureaus to collect information that they currently obtain freely. Such a requirement "would be business model busting for the credit bureaus," Jaret Seiberg, an analyst at Cowen & Co., wrote in a research note.