Equifax apologizes to thousands of Canadians affected by data breach

The chief privacy officer of credit-reporting service Equifax Canada is apologizing today to thousands of Canadians whose personal information was compromised by hackers.

John Russo tells MPs on the House of Commons ethics, information and privacy committee that company officials were devastated by the lapse at Equifax's U.S. parent firm that affected 19,000 Canadians this year.

The breach included names, addresses and social insurance and credit card numbers, as well as usernames, passwords and secret question/secret answer data.

Equifax has notified affected Canadians by mail and offered them free credit monitoring and identity theft protection.

Hackers also accessed or stole the personal data of 145.5 million U.S. consumers and nearly 400,000 Britons in the breach, which was discovered July 29.

Equifax notified the public of the security breach on Sept. 7.