Consumers in Georgia are currently able to place credit freezes on their accounts with the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Transunion) at a cost of $3 per agency. Adults 65 years of age or older may place their credit freeze at no cost.
Proposed legislation would provide free credit freezes and or credit freeze removals for any Georgian who is the victim of a data breach or mishandling of personal identifying information. Moreover, the legislation would mandate that all communication of the data breach to the consumer must be made in writing, either through mail or online notice, in order to provide that consumer with proof. That consumer would then use the written communication to file with the credit reporting agencies to receive their free credit freeze or removal. This change would mean that consumers would no longer receive a phone call notifying them of the data breach.
With the increase in data sharing online and a recent upswing in data breaches from public and private institutions, Georgia Watch supports this effort to encourage consumers to take advantage of the credit freeze toward safeguarding their assets.