Representative Hunt Supports Bill To Protect Consumers’ Credit Information

Rep. Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich)

CAPE COD- The House and Senate have finalized legislation to give Massachusetts residents more control over the use of their personal credit information, along with enhanced protections in the event their information is compromised.

House Bill #4806, supported by Representative Randy Hunt, eliminates any charge for applying or removing a credit account freeze and requires CRAs to point consumers to this free service when explaining their paid service options.

The bill also prevents unauthorized access to credit reports by requiring written, verbal or electronic consent from the consumer before their personal information can be accessed. Anyone attempting to access a consumer’s credit report must also disclose their reason for doing so to the consumer.

More stringent requirements have been put in place on business entities and credit reporting agencies that experience a data breach. Businesses will now be required to provide a minimum of 18 months of free credit monitoring services to consumers following a breach, while credit reporting agencies will be required to provide these services free of charge for at least 3½ years.

In addition, breached entities must immediately notify the Attorney General and the Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs whenever a breach occurs and provide details on the extent of the breach and the steps being taken to address it.

The bill is now on Governor Charlie Baker’s desk for review. Baker now has until August 4th to sign it into law.

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