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Equifax’s headquarters in Atlanta. Photo credit: John Disney/ALM

Former Equifax Inc. CEO Richard Smith spent much of last week testifying before Congress about the massive data breach that has affected some 145 million U.S. consumers. Many grilling Smith questioned the timeline following the discovery of the incursion and wondered how three Equifax executives were able to sell shares totaling close to $2 million just days later.

The answers inevitably came back to the company’s chief legal officer, John Kelley III, who along with being in charge of security within the company, is responsible for approving share sales by Equifax executives.

Parsing the decisions Kelley made in the aftermath of the breach raises some intriguing issues for the many in-house counsel who must grapple with cybersecurity threats and shows that the story of how Equifax responded to its recent breach is anything but simple.

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Jennifer Williams-Alvarez

Jennifer Williams-Alvarez is based in New York and covers corporate law departments.

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