Following Equifax’s Massive Data Breach, an Executive is Going to Jail… but Not for What You Think

It’s been nearly two years since the massive data breach that hit credit reporting bureau Equifax, exposing the personal information of more than half the adult population in the United States. Now, finally, someone involved in the mess is going to jail. It’s just not for playing it fast and loose with your sensitive data.

Jun Ying, the former chief information officer at Equifax, will spend four months in prison for insider trading that occurred after the breach. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Ying first learned of the breach near the end of August, several weeks before the company revealed the incident to the public. After learning of the massive security lapse, Ying began looking into how similar breaches have effected the stocks of companies.

Later that morning, he exercised all of his stock options and sold off his entire share of company stock. The sale netted him nearly $1 million, but more importantly for Ying, it saved him from a $117,000 loss that would have incurred if he held onto the stock through its tumble after the breach was made public. We also know that Ying knew the security lapse was bad, not just because he went and sold every bit of company stock that he could before it lost a significant amount of value, but because he fired off a text to another Equifax employee to say the situation “sounds bad” and note that “We may be the one breached.” (Ironically, Equifax’s stock bounced back to nearly the same levels it was at prior to the breach in just one year, and is now just a few points below its peak prior to the breach, because there is truly no justice in this world.)…

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