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 SchatzSenate Democrats accuse administration of burying climate change reports Zuckerberg woos Washington critics during visit Whistleblower complaint concerns Trump talk with foreign leader: report MORE (Hawaii), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted MORE (Mass.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillEx-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand 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 ThuneThe Hill's Morning Report - Pompeo condemns Iran for 'act of war' while Trump moves with caution Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet NRA says Trump administration memo a 'non-starter' MORE (R-S.D.) and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonMedia and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity Al Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Democrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 MORE (D-Fla.) sent Equifax a letter demanding similar answers on Friday.