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Lawmakers push credit report legislation after Equifax breach

Lawmakers push credit report legislation after Equifax breach
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Lawmakers are putting forward legislation to catch and correct credit reporting errors in the wake of the massive Equifax hack in which the personal information of 143 million Americans was stolen.

Democratic Sens. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzGeorgia law makes it a crime to give food, water to people waiting to vote Senate Democrats reintroduce bill to create financial transaction tax GOP lawmaker introduces bill targeting tech liability protections MORE (Hawaii), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOn The Money: Biden .5T budget proposes major hike in social programs | GOP bashes border, policing provisions Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists POW/MIA flag moved back atop White House MORE (Mass.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden tasks Harris on border; news conference today Missouri Senate candidate Eric Greitens tangles with Hugh Hewitt in testy interview The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - CDC news on gatherings a step toward normality MORE (Mo.) reintroduced legislation on Monday aimed at making it easier for Americans to prevent and resolve identity theft, fraud and credit report mistakes.

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The “Stop Errors in Credit Use and Reporting (SECURE) Act” would direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to establish minimum standards for credit reporting agencies.

Currently, credit reporting agencies are not required to correctly match individuals’ names, addresses or Social Security numbers. In many cases, this leads to credit card reports with inaccurate information. Under the proposed legislation, agencies would be required to resolve any errors that they find.

The SECURE Act would also make it easier for consumers to interpret their credit reports by giving them information on who sees their credit scores and explaining how banks and other institutions use their scores.

The lawmakers say the proposed legislation would also make credit reporting agencies more transparent for consumers, who often have little information on who collects their data and how it’s being used.

The legislation additionally calls for the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study on the impacts and costs of creating a national credit reporting system.

“This is one of several important steps Congress can take in the wake of the Equifax cybersecurity breach,” said Schatz. “Because these credit agencies operate in the dark, they are allowed to be terribly unfair and unaccountable.”

Schatz pressed Equifax CEO Richard Smith earlier in the day, asking that Equifax do more to help individuals affected by the breach.

In a letter to Smith, Schatz blasted Equifax for charging potentially affected customers for freezing their credit to protect them from identity theft.

Schatz also pushed Smith for more answers on what Equifax is doing to resolve the impacts of the hack and details on what pre-emptive measures it took beforehand.

Senate Commerce Committee leaders John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSunday shows preview: Democrats eye two-part infrastructure push; Michigan coronavirus cases surge Schumer kicks into reelection mode The Hill's Morning Report - Biden shifts on filibuster MORE (R-S.D.) and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonTrump hands Rubio coveted reelection endorsement in Florida Overnight Defense: Top House Armed Services Republican talks National Guard at Capitol, Afghanistan, more | Pentagon chief visits Afghanistan amid administration's review | Saudis propose Yemen ceasefire Bill Nelson's nomination as NASA administrator is replete with irony MORE (D-Fla.) sent Equifax a letter demanding similar answers on Friday.