Testimony of Mr. Richard Smith, Former Chairman and CEO, Equifax Inc.
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing 10/13/2017
From the Account of the Court Reporter
The courtroom watched in stunned silence as former Equifax CEO Richard Smith twitched mechanically while taking his seat before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee. A few words into his initial statement, Mr. Smith seemed to flicker and his suit changed to a slightly different shade of gray that almost matched the pattern he had been previously wearing. The text on his name tag also changed from “Equifax” to “EQfacts.biz.” He quickly assuaged the Senators’ concerns by informing them that they had all just won a free iPhone. “All I’ll need to know is the shipping address and the email associated with your bank account,” said Smith.
Multiple rounds of questioning then commenced, during which time Smith seemed to blink in a rapid pattern reminiscent of the indicator lights on a modem.
The Senator from New Hampshire was recognized and asked when the company had first learned of the security breaches.
“I’d be happy to answer that question, Senator,” said Smith, “if I could just get your mother’s maiden name.”
“McGillicutty,” said the Senator from Arizona, as strangled glances passed among the other members of the panel.
“If requested, would you willingly submit all documents and information related to your company’s prior knowledge of these security vulnerabilities?” asked New Hampshire.
“Oh yes,” said Smith. “I can overnight you the keys to my office filing cabinet. It’s all on the up-and-up. It was passed down to me from my recently deceased grandmother and I just want a nice and tidy couple to look through those files, but you’ll need to wire me first and last month’s rent along with a security deposit upfront.”
“A lot of people remain unconvinced that you’re taking these breaches seriously,” said the Senator from Illinois when he was recognized.
Smith assured the subcommittee that he would show them “one weird trick” to expedite their inquiries, if they would just confirm their dates of birth and social security numbers. “Trust me, security experts HATE this,” he said.
“How do you respond,” said the Senator from Rhode Island, “to the charge that you have not yet been fully transparent with consumers?”
Smith reminded everyone that Equifax is a publicly traded company. And that you can always trust businesses to do the right thing. “When have we ever let you down except twice before and probably several more times that you aren’t aware of?” As he said this his face was replaced with the bared-teeth grinning emoji.
Rhode Island conceded the remainder of his time to the Senator from California, who asked about what recommendations Smith might have for Equifax to make amends.
“I must say I’m disappointed with the scope of your issues here,” said Smith. “In fact, with this new topical ointment you can grow your issues more than five inches in just three days.”
With a great deal of time left on the clock, Smith interrupted the hearing. “On the advice of legal counsel, any additional testimony will require an update to Flash Player,” he told the subcommittee. The former CEO then provided the senators with a download link at “www.equifax-totally-safe-2017.no-seriously.ron-paul-2012/legit“.
A sarcastic view of both internet security AND government oversight…nice!