After Equifax data breach, what’s next for consumer data security?


For Equifax, the fallout from its massive data breach is far from over.

The company is facing inquiries from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, the House Financial Services Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the New York Department of Financial Services, and a lawsuit from the state of Massachusetts, at least.

The breach exposed serious flaws in the financial system’s consumer data security framework.

But what about the rest of us? How does the financial services industry protect against fraud in the future? And how do we make things safer?

According to a new report from ratings agency DBRS, the answer to making things safer is to further embrace technology.

Specifically, DBRS states that it believes the financial services industry needs to move towards biometric security, which would provide additional layers of protection that a Social Security number can’t provide.

“DBRS believes it is likely that some type of authentication feature will eventually be introduced into the credit process so that lenders can ensure that the person applying for credit is legitimate,” DBRS Managing Director Kathleen Tillwitz writes in the report. “These verifications may include fingerprints, palm prints, retina iris authentication, voice identification and/or facial recognition.”

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