The Mass. State Senate voted 38-0 last week to pass a bill that is meant to protect the personal information of consumers in the event of another data breach, like the one that affected Equifax.

On his Facebook page, State Senator Adam Hinds said that the bill would work to aid consumers before, during and after a security breach:

  • By providing free credit freezes for all consumers and creating an online “one stop shop” portal so that consumers can freeze and unfreeze their credit at the 3 main bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) in one place;
  • Providing 5 years of free credit monitoring for consumers whose information was part of a credit reporting agency data breach; and
  • Empowering consumers to know when and why their consumer reports are being pulled by requiring that any company attempting to pull a consumer’s report must first obtain consent.

The bill was sponsored by the Senate chair of the Consumer Protection Committee, Senator Barbara L'Italien.  It has been sent on to the House for consideration.  Hinds is optimistic about its future, as the House had previously passed similar legislation sponsored by State Rep. Jennifer Benson.