The Equifax data breach is continuing to impact Experian and TransUnion, too.
First, New York’s attorney general asked for formal meetings as the Empire State intensified its financial services regulations. Now this week, Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, who also is vice chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced a bill to broaden federal oversight of the credit bureaus.
McHenry, a North Carolina Republican, is championing H.R. 4028, the Promoting Responsible Oversight of Transactions and Examinations of Credit Technology Act of 2017, or the PROTECT Act.
The lawmaker explained this measure would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to allow national security freezes for the files and credit records of protected consumers. The act also would create a nationwide framework for credit freezes.
Additionally, McHenry’s office mentioned the measure would establish supervision and examination of large consumer reporting agencies under the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Act. Furthermore, the legislation would prohibit the largest credit reporting agencies from using Americans’ Social Security Numbers as a basis for identification by 2020.
“The Equifax data breach has harmed my constituents in western North Carolina and Americans across the country,” McHenry said. “It exposed a major shortcoming in our nation’s cybersecurity laws and Congress must act. The bill I’ve introduced today takes an important first step in providing meaningful reforms to help Americans who have been impacted by this breach. It is focused on prevention, protection and prohibition.
“It prevents future harm to all Americans by requiring the largest credit reporting agencies to be subjected to the same standards and supervision as the rest of the financial industry," McHenry continued. "It protects Americans by creating a national credit freeze that actually works. Finally, it prohibits the largest credit reporting agencies from continuing to rely upon the most sensitive of Americans’ personal information: our Social Security Numbers.”