Dinowitz to Introduce Bill to Protect Consumers from Identity Theft and Extra Fees as a Result of Equifax Data Breach
Albany, New York – Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) is taking a stand for consumers who have been impacted by the unprecedented Equifax data breach by introducing new legislation that will establish minimum requirements for credit reporting agencies (CRAs) to protect consumers in the instance of a data breach. The bill would require that a CRA provide free lifetime identity theft protection monitoring and mitigation services for the lifetime of their consumer credit report after any data breach that involves social security numbers. Furthermore, the bill would also prohibit fees to freeze and unfreeze a consumer credit report that has been impacted by the breach for the lifetime of that report.
Credit reporting agencies, which have already been under recent public scrutiny about inaccurate file keeping and the difficulty consumers have had to correct these files, hold significant influence over the financial abilities of Americans to borrow money. While Equifax has agreed to waive fees for security freezes for a short time period and offered 12 months of identity theft protection services at no charge, this is insufficient and does not fully rectify the damage that has been done in this data breach.
“People’s credit rating is no trivial matter. For Equifax to say they will protect affected consumers for only 12 months is ridiculous. What is stopping the crooks who stole this information from just waiting 366 days instead of 365 before using it?” said Dinowitz. “Furthermore, in what world does it make sense to reward Equifax for their negligence by allowing them to collect fees from innocent consumers who had their personal information stolen? This bill represents the absolute bare minimum of responsibility that consumers should expect from these agencies.”
This bill is expected to be officially introduced in the next couple weeks.