REP LIEU INTRODUCES TWO BILLS TO SAFEGUARD CONSUMER DATA
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) introduced two bills to protect consumers by safeguarding their data and ensuring victims of data breaches can hold companies accountable in court. The “Protecting Consumer Information Act of 2018” will expand the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement authority over credit reporting agencies. The “Ending Forced Arbitration for Victims of Data Breaches Act” will prohibit entities from enacting arbitration clauses for suits related to a data breach, and empowers the FTC, State Attorneys General and citizens to have their day in court. Together, these bills will ensure that the Federal Government has the tools necessary to compel companies to protect consumer financial data and enables victims of data breaches to seek recourse. Today, Equifax announced that an additional 2.4 million Americans had their data stolen in the September breach.
“When companies have access to sensitive personal data, they have a considerable responsibility to keep that data safe. Just today, Equifax announced that an additional 2.4 million Americans were impacted by last September’s data breach. Those Americans now join the 145 million consumers who have had their privacy and personal data compromised. Months later, we’re still learning about the breadth of this breakdown in consumer protections. That’s unacceptable.
I’m honored to introduce these bills to ensure that the U.S. government has the tools necessary to protect consumers. After the initial news broke about the breach, Equifax tried to strong-arm victims who signed up for Equifax’s credit monitoring service into giving up their right to sue, forcing those victims into arbitration. By stopping victims from having their day in court, companies enacting mandatory arbitration clauses cannot be held responsible by consumers.
Data breaches such has this one have made millions of Americans vulnerable because their sensitive information—including social security numbers, birth dates and addresses—could be used in identity theft and other fraudulent behavior. Credit reporting agencies must be held accountable when they fail to keep sensitive data safe. Together, these bills forge a path forward that can both prevent future breaches and ensure victims can seek due process when they occur.”
READ THE FULL TEXT OF THE PROTECTING CONSUMER INFORMATION BILL HERE
READ THE FULL TEXT OF THE FORCED ARBITRATION BILL HERE