The Government Accountability Office is recommending that the Federal Trade Commission be given stronger authority to enforce data protection laws, and that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau improve its oversight and supervision of consumer reporting agencies like Equifax.
GAO made the recommendations in a recent report, “Actions Needed to Strengthen Oversight of Consumer Reporting Agencies,” which was requested by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee Elijah Cummings, D-Md.
The lawmakers requested the report on Sept. 15, 2017, eight days after Equifax publicly announced a massive data breach that ultimately affected more than 145 million Americans.
“The Equifax breach revealed major gaps in how CRAs protect and use consumers’ private information, and the report we released today confirms that vulnerabilities still exist,” said Warren and Cummings, in a statement.
GAO has issued “very clear recommendations on how to protect consumers, so let’s follow them. We need to give the FTC more tools to crack down on consumer data abuses and the CFPB needs to do its job, hold these firms accountable, and protect consumers.”