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Lawmaker to Equifax CEO: Feel like sharing your Social Security number?

Equifax CEO Mark Begor found himself in the hot seat during a congressional hearing featuring aggressive questioning by two freshman members of the U.S. House.

More than a year after an Equifax security breach exposed the data of nearly 150 million consumers, the credit bureau head was asked by California Democrat Katie Porter if he'd be willing to publicly share his address, birth date and Social Security number. 

"I would be a bit uncomfortable doing that congresswoman," Begor said in the Tuesday hearing, citing the risk of identity theft. "If you'd so oblige me, I'd prefer not to."

Porter then questioned why Equifax attorneys were seeking to dismiss a class-action suit over its 2017 breach by arguing in federal court that no harm had occurred. 

Another new member of the House Financial Services Committee, New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also pointedly questioned the Equifax chief.

"So consumers own their data, but credit bureaus collect their information without their consent?" the New York Democrat asked. 

"Yes," replied Begor, who then described tools consumers can use to freeze or lock their data.

Equifax data breach was "entirely preventable," congressional report says

Noting that one in five U.S. consumers have an error in their credit report, Ocasio-Cortez quipped that if parachutes had a similar track record, "I don't think a lot of people would be skydiving."

The House Oversight Committee in December released two scathing reports on Equifax's security breach, with Republicans outlining the flaws that led to thieves accessing massive amounts of personal data and Democrats demanding new cybersecurity laws. 

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