Free From All 3: Make Credit Freezes Free to all Americans
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Regardless of where or when a data breach occurs, it leaves people feeling powerless and helpless; confused and angry. The ITRC has been tracking data breaches for more than a decade and we hear from the victims of these breaches on a near-daily basis. Breaches of really sensitive personal information like Social Security numbers are nothing new, but the sheer size of the Equifax data breach is unprecedented and alarming. Lately, we have been seeing data breaches grow larger and more dangerous at a frightening pace. Unless we, as a society, make this a national priority, we predict the Equifax breach will be eclipsed by yet another larger, more destructive data breach in a very short period of time.
We need ALL stakeholders – consumers, industry, and government – to engage in a solution.
Right now the industry has the opportunity to step up and help Americans protect themselves from the loss and theft of personal information. Currently, victims of identity theft may be able to have the fees for credit freezes waived. But what about other consumers who want to proactively protect their identity, especially in cases where they have become victims of data breaches? Everyone should be able to take the proactive step of a credit freeze, no matter their level of income.
We believe credit freezes should be free. Not just from Equifax, and not just for 30 days. We are asking for all credit reporting agencies to provide all Americans with the ability to enact an initial freeze of their credit report at any time and one free thaw and refreeze per year.
We realize that free credit freezes won’t solve the identity theft problem once and for all. That will require more work, in many other areas. However, it is one way that we can reduce the rate of identity theft in America and that’s definitely a step in the right direction.
We all need to continue working towards a better balance between convenience and security. The ITRC will continue to push for this conversation to be at the forefront of public debate. However, right now we are bleeding. We need a tourniquet and that tourniquet comes in the form of free credit freezes.
Will you join us in our efforts to help protect Americans from identity theft?
Sign the petition to tell the three major credit reporting agencies that you want a free initial credit freeze and one thaw and re-freeze per year for all Americans.
Share this petition and tag #FreeFromAll3
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