EQUIFAX is in trouble, says our Legal Director Ron Fein in his newest op-ed in WIRED.

Last months security breach of the credit reporting company failed to protect the personal financial data of as many as 143 million Americans. Already, the Federal Trade CommissionCongress, and about 40 state attorneys general are investigating the data breach, and both the Massachusetts attorney general and the city of San Francisco are suing on behalf of residents whose information was compromised.

Fein says, “That’s a start. But it’s not enough. Equifax’s failure calls for the corporate death penalty, through a rare but vital procedure called judicial dissolution.”

State laws enable the creation of corporations because they are thought to confer a benefit on society. But not in this case. Equifax had one job, and it failed. More than half of American adults woke up one day to learn that a corporation that few had ever heard of had lost control of financial data that they never knowingly gave it.

Dissolving Equifax would not require putting innocent people out of work or demolishing its office buildings. Working with a court-appointed receiver, the Georgia attorney general could develop a plan to deconstruct Equifax’s current corporate structure. It could continue to operate and pay its staff and vendors while dissolution is pending in court, and legitimate business lines could operate successfully afterwards under new ownership.

“We shouldn’t use the corporate death penalty lightly. But at this point, Equifax has lost its justification for existence.”

To read the full article, click here.