SPRINGFIELD, Ill. –State Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, passed legislation unanimously out of the House today that aims to protect Illinois consumers impacted by the Equifax data breach by preventing credit freeze charges.
“It’s wrong that people are being forced to pay to protect their own identities and financial security because of the errors of others,” Harris said. “We shouldn’t have to pay for the mismanagement and negligence of giant corporations that are collecting personal and sensitive information from consumers.”
Harris worked in conjunction with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to introduce legislation in response to the Equifax data breach. Late last month, Equifax announced it had suffered a massive data breach of sensitive consumer information from May to July of this year, impacting as many as 143 million Americans. In Illinois, the breach is believed to have jeopardized the personal and financial information of more than 5.4 million residents.
After the data breach, Attorney General Madigan encouraged residents to consider placing a freeze on their credit and to sign up for free credit reports to help protect themselves from identity theft. Harris’ proposal, House Bill 4095, would prevent credit agencies like Equifax from charging consumers with a fee to freeze their credit.
“The Equifax data breach was absolutely inexcusable. This legislation is an example of the legislature working swiftly and in a bipartisan fashion to protect consumers,” Harris said. “I urge the Governor to sign this proposal to help victims of the data breach protect themselves.”