Thank you very much, Chair.
Thank you very much to the witnesses for being here today on an issue which, as somebody who has just heard and read about it, I also was deeply concerned to hear about.
In my former career as a banker, we relied on Equifax—this would have been in the eighties and nineties—for information. In fact, I recall at that time that the problem we had with Equifax was that the data on consumers was inaccurate. We regularly had to check up on it ourselves. We would receive the report on a customer, whether commercial or an individual, and we would follow up ourselves and do the checking. It came out not too long afterwards that consumers themselves were discovering that their records were inaccurate. Indeed—correct me if I'm wrong—there was a court judgment saying that consumers had the right to see their information.
I know that as a banker I was not allowed to provide customers with their information, because it was a service that was sold between Equifax and businesses, including the banks. At that time, it had nothing to do with the consideration of the consumer, which was nowhere to be found in the buying and selling of that information.
Fast-forward to today, and now I see on your website that you're selling consumers their own information. It's information that you are collecting and your business customers are paying you for, and you're selling back to customers the verification of that information for $20 a month. Could you please explain the business model behind this?