WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the testimony of the former Equifax chairman and CEO as he testifies before Congress on the massive data breach affecting an estimated 145 million Americans (all times local):

12 p.m.

The former chief executive at Equifax tells lawmakers that the sale of company stock by senior executives in early August was unrelated to the data breach at the company.

On Aug. 1 and 2, Equifax Chief Financial Officer John Gamble and two other executives, Rodolfo Ploder and Joseph Loughran, sold a combined $1.8 million in stock.

At a congressional hearing Tuesday, former company CEO Richard Smith described the executives as "honorable men, men of integrity."

Smith says that while the company was aware of suspicious activity by potential hackers, there was no indication that data had been removed from the system. He said that recognition only occurred after forensic experts conducted their review in the following weeks.

Smith also says that he was not involved in the approval process for the stock sales, which he says often occur on a quarterly basis.


10:45 a.m.

Several lawmakers on a congressional panel say Equifax's response to a massive data breach is unacceptable and still inadequate.

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., says that if Equifax wants to stay in business, its entire corporate culture needs to change to one that values security and transparency.

Former Equifax chairman and CEO Richard F. Smith is testifying before a House subcommittee overseeing digital commerce and consumer protection.

It's the first of several appearances taking place this week before House and Senate panels. They are reviewing a data breach that affected an estimated 145 million Americans.

Pallone says it has been four weeks since the breach was made public and Equifax's customer service has been "confusing and unhelpful."

Republican Rep. Greg Walden says he expects Smith's candor and cooperation as lawmakers learn how Equifax failed to secure its systems.


3:30 a.m.

The former chairman and CEO of Equifax says the challenge of responding to the concerns of tens of millions of consumers after a massive data breach proved overwhelming, and regrettably, mistakes were made.

In prepared congressional testimony, Richard F. Smith has outlined steps that the credit reporting company is taking to regain the nation's trust.

Smith's appearance before a House subcommittee Tuesday morning is the first of several he'll make this week as House and Senate panels review a data breach that affected an estimated 145 million Americans.

Smith says Equifax has greatly increased its customer service staff. It has also put in place a support package that includes free credit file monitoring, identity theft insurance and a credit lock that restricts access to a consumer's credit report.

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