A group of 31 Democrat and Independent U.S. senators are calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to provide information as to why the Bureau has halted its inquiry into the Equifax data breach that potentially exposed the personal information of 145.5 million customers.
According to a report in Reuters, the group of senators sent a letter to acting CFPB director Mick Mulvaney after reports emerged that the CFPB is pulling away from its investigation into how Equifax was hacked. That news resulted in a large amount of criticism from Democrats as well as consumer advocacy groups, who requested that the Bureau restart a full inquiry into the breach.
In the letter, the Senators said they want Mulvaney and Leandra English, the CFPB’s Deputy Director, to provide information about the inquiry, including whether it has issued any subpoenas or interviewed anyone at Equifax. A spokesman for the CFPB confirmed receipt of the letter.
John Czwartacki, senior adviser to Mulvaney, stated to Reuters that “under his direction, the CFPB is working with our partners across government on Equifax’s data breach and response. We are committed to enforcing the law.”
Equifax admitted in September that it had lost the data of 143 million Americans (nearly every American adult), prompting then-director Richard Cordray to authorize a full-scale investigation. But Cordray stepped down in November and was replaced by Mulvaney (legal challenges to the side), under whom the investigation has slowed to a crawl.
According to the previous Reuters report, three sources say Mulvaney has neither ordered subpoenas against Equifax nor sought sworn testimony from executives. The CFPB has also reportedly shelved plans for on-the-ground tests of how Equifax protects data, and also recently rebuffed bank regulators at the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency when they offered to help with on-site exams of credit bureaus.