North Texas

Equifax Promises New Product to ‘Lock' Credit From Your Smartphone

Former CEO Richard Smith appeared before a congressional board to discuss the company's massive data breach

Former Equifax CEO Richard Smith faced lawmakers Tuesday, apologizing for the company's massive data breach that exposed millions of Americans' personal information.

Smith blamed human error and technology failures for the breach and announced a new service Equifax is providing to help consumers control their credit data.

It's an app on your phone that will will let you lock or unlock your credit instantly whenever you want from your smartphone.

Smith told Congress the free service won't be up and running until the end of January, so it's hard for anyone to know all the specifics on what it will do or its effectiveness.

And it's unclear if Equifax will put in any stipulations like asking you to give up your right to sue the company over the data breach.

It appears to be similar to credit freezing, but that process is regulated by state laws, something this service would not offer.

Of course, you'll have to wait several months for the service to begin, so freezing your credit or installing fraud alerts still is the best protection now.

Smith challenged Equifax competitors TransUnion and Experian to come up with a similar system.

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