Ellis Announces Consumer Protection Bills to Assist Pennsylvanians Affected by Data Breaches
10/4/2017
HARRISBURG – In an effort to add further protections to assist Pennsylvania consumers affected by data breaches, House Commerce Committee Chairman Brian Ellis (R-Butler) hosted a press conference Tuesday at the Capitol to announce two pieces of related legislation.

The first, which Ellis is sponsoring, would update the Breach of Personal Information Notification Act. The second, sponsored by Rep. Mike Driscoll (D-Philadelphia), would update the Credit Reporting Agency Act. Attorney General Josh Shapiro spoke in support of these bills at the press conference.

“A very large data breach of Equifax was reported in early September, and more than 5.4 million Pennsylvanians had their personal information compromised,” Ellis explained. “Equifax isn’t the only company to impact consumers in our state, and these bills we announced are meant to help those affected. It is my hope that another massive breach, like Equifax, does not occur, but if it does, the safeguards in this bipartisan legislation will protect and help consumers after the breach occurs.”

Ellis’ bill would require notification of a breach from the entity where the breach occurred to the affected consumer. The notification would include the date the breach occurred, the type of information subject to the breach, a toll-free number and the address of credit reporting agencies. This notice would have to be made available within 30 days of the breach of the system. Additionally, an entity with a breach would have to notify the state attorney general’s office. The entities must also develop policies to safeguard and discard personal consumer information.

Driscoll’s bill would waive the current credit freeze fee, which charges up to $10 per account. In the instance of a data breach, consumers would be provided with three months of free credit monitoring and up to three free credit reports for one calendar year after the date the breach is reported. None of these would apply to a credit reporting agency that has not experienced a breach.

“This is a bipartisan effort and I am pleased to work with Chairman Ellis and Attorney General Shapiro to move forward on this,” Driscoll said. “Working together, I believe we can make real progress on this issue that affects millions of Pennsylvanians.”

“The Equifax data breach exposed the financial data of at least 143 million Americans and 5.4 million Pennsylvanians, and the chaotic corporate response of fees, wait times and bureaucratic hoops endured by Pennsylvanians shows we need to change the way these companies use your data so you can easily protect yourself,” said Shapiro. “This legislation will strengthen reporting requirements, eliminate fees to freeze your own credit, mandate a one-stop shop for credit freezes, and require companies to get your consent before accessing your credit file.”

Ellis said these bills will be brought up for a vote in the House Commerce Committee at a meeting on Monday, Oct. 16.

Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter), who had his personal information stolen in the past, spoke at the press conference and explained his experience. Video of the entire press conference and Ellis’ remarks from after the event are available on YouTube.com/RepEllis.

For more information about this legislation, or any other state-related issue, contact Ellis’ district office in Lyndora located at 6 Chesapeake St., Suite 200, by calling 724-283-5852. Information can also be found online at RepEllis.com, or Facebook.com/RepEllis.

Representative Brian Ellis
11th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin
717.705.2032
kcorbin@pahousegop.com
RepEllis.com / Facebook.com/RepEllis

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