Citing a federal ethics disclosure filing, Recode reported that while TransUnion didn’t specify the political focus of the lobbyists, they will focus on “issues affecting data security, privacy and cybersecurity.” The report noted that the lobbyists all have relationships with Republicans serving in Congress. A TransUnion spokesman told Recode in an email statement that it “engaged additional lobbyists to help us monitor and respond to legislative and regulatory reaction to the Equifax breach announcement.” The spokesman wouldn’t address if it had its own breach similar to Equifax.
TransUnion executives have already said that they weren’t targeted in the data breach at Equifax. Nevertheless, the competing credit scoring company did acknowledge that it is also facing backlash in the wake of Equifax. The report noted that last week, TransUnion CFO Todd Cello said the company is investing more money on call centers due to increased inquiries from consumers looking for answers about credit freezes. The CFO also acknowledged the company used the same software that is being blamed in the Equifax data breach, but said that the software was kept up to date and he doesn’t believe it was breached.
In September, Equifax revealed it was the target of a massive data breach that impacted 145.5 million consumers, compromising personal data that included Social Security numbers. It also said that 209,000 credit card accounts were compromised in the breach. Since disclosing the breach, the company’s Chief Executive Richard Smith was forced to retire, every attorney general in the state has launched an investigation and lawmakers are conducting their own inquiries. Lawmakers are vowing to crack down on the industry, with some politicians calling for new restrictions on the data the credit scoring companies are collecting.