A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Following Equifax data breach, Beshear proposing legislation to protect Kentuckians

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Attorney General Andy Beshear is proposing legislation to protect Kentuckians from data breaches.

The action comes in the wake of the recent Equifax credit reporting agency data breach, which has affected 143,000,000 Americans, including 40 percent of Kentuckians.

Under Beshear’s proposed legislation, Kentuckians impacted by a data breach would gain access to a free credit freeze, three free credit reports each year from each of the major credit reporting agencies, and five years of credit monitoring.

Andy Beshear

Beshear said his proposal also requires all credit reports be encrypted, which would make it more difficult for hackers to steal personal and financial information.

“My job is to be Kentuckians’ lawyer and that is why I am working to propose stronger state laws that would directly help those impacted by a breach,” Beshear said. “Under my proposal, the victims of a data breach would never have to pay to freeze or monitor their credit, and those responsible would be required to step up and provide better protections for Kentucky families.”

Beshear said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced similar legislation in her state, and other states, including Main,e have already moved to strengthen consumer protections surrounding data breaches.

Last week, Beshear joined with other attorneys general to send Equifax a letter, which demanded Equifax stop using its own data breach as an opportunity to sell services to victims. The letter specifically requested the company disable fee-based credit monitoring services and reimburse customers for any fees they have paid to other credit reporting agencies for a credit freeze.

He has also issued a scam alert to help make Kentuckians aware of the Equifax data breach and provided instructions on how to sign up for the free credit monitoring service, as well as guidance on how to avoid and respond to identity theft.

Beshear said his office will continue to monitor the response from Equifax and asks Kentuckians to take immediate steps to closely monitor their credit.

“I want to make sure I’ve done everything to propose state laws that will protect you,” he said. “In this digital era, laws that protect you in the case of a data breach like Equifax are absolutely necessary. And I want to make that if this ever happens again, that you are better protected, that you don’t have to take any steps, that those responsible ultimately step up and protect you because it’s their fault your information is out there.”

You can report any suspicious credit activity to his office’s Security Breach hotline, 855-813-6508.

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