To elaborate on our manic tweeting two days back (follow us on Twitter if you want knee-jerk apology critiques, interactions, smokin’ hot takes and one-liners!), Equifax’s apology for its data breach was execrable. Let’s ponder the suckage!
1. “A disappointing event for our company”??? Yes, it’s all about you.
2. Wait, did you just say “disappointing”? Minimizing word choice, Equifax! Just like “concern and frustration.” Those words are good words when you drop an apple on the floor while unloading your groceries. Exposing the potentially life-screwing private data of 143 million Americans to hackery requires more substantive expressions of self-flagellation. Consumers do not feel “concern and frustration,” Equifax. They feel horror and dismay, and are faced with a lot of work and fear because of your negligence. Apologize for the very real financial consequences of your actions, not other people’s “frustration.” Jeez.
3. A good apology explains how you’ll insure this won’t happen again. This apology fails to do so.
4. Not disclosing immediately how many people were affected is a huge omission, if one is trying to be accountable. (Hint: In this case, one is not.)
5. How conveeeeeeeenient (Church Lady voice) that the breach was discovered on July 29 but not disclosed until 3 days ago, after three top execs dumped stock.
6. Making it difficult for consumers to check whether they were hacked, or failing to insure that your web site actually could distinguish real from fake last names and social security numbers — problematic! Apologize for that!
7. How nice of Equifax to offer free one-year credit monitoring service…that freezes people’s credit reports ONLY AT EQUIFAX! Sorry, if you want them frozen elsewhere, you’re on your own! (Oh, if you’re Equifax, please edit out the “sorry” in the last sentence, because they did not say it.)
8. The possibility that even CHECKING whether you’d been hacked meant opting out of a class-action suit, because of fine print on the web site? SUPER-NIFTY. Apologize. (Later, the language was amended…but no apology has thus far been forthcoming!)
9. The web site created for consumers to check whether they were hacked was IN ITSELF mega-hackable! See this Ars Technica piece about how. Sloppy AF.
11. Radio silence since the revelation and the widespread public response to both the situation and crappiness of apology? Not good.