Top Dem introduces bill to ban credit freeze fees after Equifax hack

Top Dem introduces bill to ban credit freeze fees after Equifax hack
© Greg Nash

The top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee released on Thursday a bill to ban credit reporting agencies from charging customers for credit freezes, following the massive Equifax data breach.

Offered by Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump says GOP will support pre-existing condition protections | McConnell defends ObamaCare lawsuit | Dems raise new questions for HHS on child separations Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel US to open trade talks with Japan, EU, UK MORE (Ore.), the Free Credit Freeze Act would prevent credit reporting agencies such as Equifax from charging customers to freeze their credit accounts, a tool meant to prevent identity theft and fraud.

“Companies like Equifax that have stockpiled massive, insecure databases of Americans’ most sensitive personal data must make security the top priority at every single stage,” Wyden said.

“Given the frequency of these mega breaches, it is simply unacceptable for the credit agencies to continue to charge hardworking Americans who want to protect their credit and their identity from fraudsters."

Equifax stoked controversy last week by charging customers for credit freezes after it was revealed that hackers potentially accessed the personal financial information of more than 143 million customers stored in its files. Equifax waived lock fees following the criticism.

The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Equifax, along with several Senate and House committees.

--Updated at 3:32 p.m. to update the name of the bill.