Friday, March 1, 2019

New Law to Enhance Consumer Credit Data Security

This week, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined legislators and stakeholders for a ceremonial bill signing of an act Relative To Consumer Protection From Security Breaches.

The legislation:

  • Requires consumer consent before any third party can obtain the consumer’s credit report from a credit reporting agency for most non-credit purposes.
  • Requires that credit reporting agencies allow a consumer to place a “security freeze” on the consumer’s credit report at no cost and prohibits credit rating agencies from charging a consumer to lift or remove a credit freeze.
  • Enhances reporting requirements for holders of consumer data that have experienced a security breach and requires these holders to offer free credit monitoring to affected consumers in certain circumstances.
  • Ensures that state agencies charged with ensuring payment of child support obligations and protecting the credit history of children under state care may continue fulfill their statutory responsibilities.
“Signing this bill into law will better protect Massachusetts consumers from the consequences of data breaches and give individuals more control over their data and how it is used,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I am thankful to the Legislature for working with our administration to pass a version of this bill that assists consumers while allowing state agencies to perform their statutory responsibilities and comply with state and federal law.”