It seems we live in worry almost every day about the security of our personal information. Millions of Americans have been affected by data breaches and hackers have sold that data to thieves worldwide.
Relief may be on the way. I have worked with a Washington State Legislator to come up with a solution for all Washingtonians.
I’m angry. Almost everyday viewers ask me how to protect their personal information. I give the best advice I can, but it’s crazy that consumers have to do all of the work.
I’m mad that we have to pay credit agencies $10 a pop to freeze our credit files, after they fail at their jobs.
Thousandaires cleaning up the messes of billionaires.
I’m tired of it. Something has to happen.
So what do I want? I want free credit freezes for all.
“A free credit freeze is really, it should be a right, of every Washingtonian to make sure that our information is secure,” said Elise Orlick from the Washington Public Interest Research Group, or WashPIRG.
I asked if they were interested in trying to get someone to write legislation. “Absolutely, it’s about time we have free credit freezes in Washington,” said Orlick.
Orlick said only eight states allow free credit freezes for all.
This is my case for free credit freezes for everybody. Let’s go through the Equifax timeline. The breach took place in May. On July 29th, the company discovered it. When did the company tell everyone about it? September 7th. That means for months your personal information was out there.
I found a legislator who was willing to hear my case. Representative Zack Hudgins, a Democrat from the 11th District in Tukwila. We had a little chat.
“I think the first thing is that in many cases they don’t notify the public soon enough. We’ve gotten an notification law in Washington State that requires 45 days. And many people think it should be shorter because that’s longer then a billing cycle, and if you don’t find out, within that 45-day period it’s almost too late. Your information is out there, it makes your life hard,” said Rep. Hudgins.
Representative Hudgins put pen to paper and did something we all needed to have happen. He wrote a bill.
The House Bill, which will be introduced in December, would expand free credit freezes and thaws to everyone in Washington State.
Currently, only certain identity theft victims, kids under 16 and seniors can get a free freeze.
If this bill becomes a law, everyone will get a chance to protect themselves for free.