The Equifax disaster was somewhat inevitable considering the current state of software systems and network security around the world. I have noted in the past that the moment one became a part of the Internet, you have basically given up your privacy. You may ask then, what more is left to be said about what happened at Equifax, when the extremely private information of over 143 million people, more than forty percent of the population of the United States, was compromised by a single entity, all in one shot.
What astounds me is the response of the people, and of the folks who run our country, to what is going on. Indeed, it is the lack of response that is amazing. While there are a minority of people who seem to appreciate the seriousness of the matter, beyond the context how this one-time incident effects people, most others go about their lives simply hoping that the current problem does not affect them, when indeed this incident is only the tip of the iceberg and a symptom of greater disasters that can happen with the way our systems are structured and the way we live our lives. In this particular case, also consider the additional cluelessness of the company involved. They appear to have had no sense of the seriousness of the situation and value of the information that they were handling, and once disaster struck, they had no idea how to to handle the situation. Indeed, as of today, they still have not demonstrated that they know what they are doing.
Perhaps I should not be surprised with what is happening. The same kind of attitude seems to hold in the case of physical disasters. Weather events like hurricanes seem to be getting more powerful over the years, yet we choose to ignore the science behind the phenomenon and refuse to acknowledge why this may be happening. Indeed, we will even reduce the resources available to further understand and address the problem and very few will even care or protest. It does not matter if the origins of our problems are physical or virtual, the same kind of attitudes and philosophies hold.
We think we are an advanced society because of our access to all kinds of technologies. But that does not mean that we really know what we are doing.