Sep 20, 2018

Equifax hit with maximum UK fine for 2017 data breach

Equifax is being hit with a £500,000 fine over its massive 2017 data breach that affected 146 million people globally, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The fine is very small compared to what Equifax would've received had the breach happened just one year later, when the U.K. implemented GDPR, the sweeping data privacy law that would've penalized Equifax up to 4% of its global annual revenue.

The U.K.'s privacy office says it's fining Equifax for failing to protect the personal information of up to 15 million UK citizens during the 2017 attack. It says the loss of personal information is particularly problematic because it undermines consumer trust in digital commerce.

"Equifax Ltd has received the highest fine possible under the 1998 legislation because of the number of victims, the type of data at risk and because it has no excuse for failing to adhere to its own policies and controls as well as the law.”
— Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner in a statement

The big picture: Equifax has dodged a lot of scrutiny and penalties despite experiencing one of the most pervasive data breaches of personal information to date. As Axios' Joe Uchill notes, the breach has barely changed lawmakers' thinking on Capitol Hill.

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 36 mins ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins