It is now being reported that the Equifax hack will affect 143 million Americans as many of their highly sensitive personal information have been compromised. The Equifax hack comes on the heels of many other major corporations’ hacks: that of LinkedIn, JPMorgan, Oracle, Yahoo, Dropbox, Google Drive, Adobe, etc. What all these businesses have in common is that we rely on each of them on an everyday basis and each of them carry and store a good chunk of our personal information.
The Equifax hack in particular brings to light two great risks to our personal well-being: the increased likelihood of falling prey to identity thefts and wrongful credit reporting.
Korn Ferry Institute argues that although information transparency can bring about many conveniences, it is also increasingly invasive. We are kidding ourselves if we believe that every modicum of information that we divulge into the cyber-world is incorruptible. Every little detail that we offer is guzzled up by data-hungry corporations, making it that much more likely that our information can be compromised and making us that much more vulnerable to identity thefts.
Equifax holds a large chunk of very sensitive information — from our transactional and work histories to our Social Security Numbers, meaning that the likelihood of a comprehensive identity theft problem for half of America is highly probable.The Equifax hack can also mean a depletion of wealth and goodwill caused by credit card fraud.
In a previous post, we mentioned how our economy today is built upon “credit scores” — the definitive barometer of “trustworthiness.” However, this metric, as adjudicated by the likes of Equifax, do not take into account malicious cyber-attacks and their after-effects. Corporations such as Equifax are also obscure in their reporting of our credit scores, “misrepresenting them” according to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigation earlier this year.
Apart from admonishing the likes of Equifax and other corporations for their poor cyber-security measures as well as their incorrect “credit score” evaluations, it might seem that we are helpless to do anything about it. Or are we?
The blockchain is essentially a giant public ledger of information, meaning it can just as easily hold all of our personal information as well. The nature of public blockchains allows anyone to access the information. That is why blockchain is a great solution to the identity theft problem.