041415CM0438TINLEY PARK – Credit reporting agencies will no longer allow consumer reporting agencies to impose a charge on a consumer for placing a freeze, removing a freeze, or temporarily lifting a freeze on their credit reports, thanks to a new law championed by State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park).

Hastings pushed for safeguards after Equifax announced that a security breach compromised the personal information of 143 million U.S. residents, including more than 5.4 million Illinois residents.

Equifax originally disclosed the breach in September of 2017, but since then, there have been multiple disclosures from the company that show more vital information was stolen than the company originally revealed. Just last month, Equifax informed the public that a small number of passport images and information were stolen as part of the security breach, despite previously denying such a thing occurred.

“More than 5.4 million Illinois residents do not know who may have access to their personal information and what they might do with it,” Hastings said. “This new law will allow consumers to protect themselves in a cost-effective and timely manner.”

In the original report released to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, Equifax admitted that the security breach compromised information such as names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver's license numbers. This breach is very concerning, as such sensitive information can be used for identity theft and fraud.

House Bill 4095 will prohibit credit reporting agencies from imposing a charge on a consumer for placing a freeze, removing a freeze, or temporarily lifting a freeze on their credit reports.

Previously, consumer reporting agencies were allowed to charge up to $10 each time a consumer wished to take these proactive actions.

House Bill 4095 will not only eliminate fees but would also allow Illinois residents to initiate or remove a freeze by telephone and through electronic methods.

“This commonsense law is long overdue,” Hastings said. “We live in a global economy. Modern business structures require large and small companies to provide online services to store a consumer’s personal and sensitive data. Our information is stored in clouds and databases regardless of our approval. This makes it easier for dangerous individuals to hack and distribute this information to bad actors. This new law will ensure there are safeguards in place to protect Illinois citizens when misfortune strikes.”

House Bill 4095 goes into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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CONTACT SENATOR HASTINGS

Welcome to the official website of Senator Michael E. Hastings. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Hastings directly or you may call any of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

Springfield Office:
118 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-9595

East Office:
813 School Ave
Matteson, IL 60443

District Office:
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Frankfort, IL 60423
(815) 464-5431

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