Senate Dems' bill would penalize credit reporting agencies for breaches

Senate Dems' bill would penalize credit reporting agencies for breaches

Two Democratic senators floated legislation Wednesday that would boost the Federal Trade Commission's authority over large credit reporting agencies, including by levying penalties for consumer data breaches like the massive one at Equifax that compromised the personal information of roughly half the USA population.

If the law had been in effect during its summer data breach, Equifax would have been forced to pay a $1.5 billion fine, according to.

"Last year we learned of one of the worst consumer data breaches in modern American history - the Equifax hack".

In September 2017, Equifax announced that hackers had stolen sensitive personal information - including Social Security Numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, and passport numbers - of over 145 million Americans. The proposed bill ensures that half the money paid to the federal government is returned to those affected by the breach. It also would establish a new Office of Cybersecurity at the Federal Trade Commission, and charge it with monitoring cyber security at those companies. "To ensure robust recovery for affected consumers, the bill would also require the FTC to use 50 percent of its penalty to compensate consumers and would increase penalties in cases of woefully inadequate cybersecurity or if a CRA fails to timely notify the FTC of a breach".

Under the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act, which was introduced by Sens.


"We appreciate this bill's attention to key weaknesses in consumer data protection". Public Knowledge applauds Senators Warner and Warren for prioritizing consumer privacy.

Warner called Equifax's massive breach "particularly egregious" during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" immediately following their CNN spot.

"I worry [the USA will] continue to go out and build and invest in the world's best 20th-century military, in terms of planes and tanks and ships, when many of our adversaries are not making investment in traditional military but making investments in cyber warfare tools where candidly ... we are not fully protected", Warner said.

Senators have proposed new legislation which would impose strict liability penalties on credit agencies (CRAs) in the event of a data breach. Warner has also partnered with the National Retail Federation to establish an information sharing platform that allows the industry to better protect consumer financial information from data breaches.

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