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After the data breach, the IRS hired Equifax to handle taxpayer information

Former Equifax CEO Richard Smith was questioned by a Senate committee Wednesday about the massive data breach that led to his resignation. (Image source: Washington Post video screenshot)

Equifax's negligence exposed the personal data of more than 145 million consumers to hackers and identity thieves, but that didn't stop the IRS from paying the credit reporting agency $7.25 million to help the agency prevent fraud.

Lawmakers had tough questions for Equifax's former CEO Richard Smith on Tuesday and Wednesday about how the breach happened, and why Smith believed Equifax was in a position to assist the IRS.

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