ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – In the wake of the Equifax data breach, state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, is sponsoring new legislation that would prevent reporting agencies from charging fees to consumers who wish to freeze their credit report.
“Freezing your credit report can lessen the personal and financial risks of a data breach by preventing identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name,” Halpin said. “Identity theft is a devastating crime, and consumers whose personal information was exposed should be able to protect themselves without having to pay anything.”
According to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the Equifax data breach is believed to have affected approximately 5.4 million residents in Illinois. Nationwide, it is believed as many as 143 million Americans were susceptible to the data hack. Residents can use a freeze as a tool to help protect themselves from additional account identity theft, but agencies often charge a fee. The Halpin-supported House Bill 4095 would prevent fees from being charged to Illinois consumers if they request a freeze.
“Big companies that breach consumers’ trust need to be held accountable for their security failures,” Halpin said. “Requiring Equifax and other credit agencies to make freezes available for free prevents them from profiting off their own data breach.”
For more information, please contact Halpin’s full-time constituent service office at 309-558-3612 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.