identity theft

4 petitions

Update posted 3 months ago

Petition to Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., James M. Peck, Brian Cassin

Free From All 3: Make Credit Freezes Free to all Americans

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

Eva Velasquez
155,108 supporters
Started 5 months ago

Petition to Equifax, Elizabeth Warren, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Orrin Hatch, Ron Wyden, Federal Trade Commission, Bob Latta, Bob Goodlatte

Equifax must give FREE credit protection & monitoring services and more for LIFE

For the duration of each person’s lifetime, Equifax must provide for FREE, unlimited security freeze and unfreeze at all credit bureaus, credit monitoring (detection and alert) at all credit bureaus, credit score on a monthly basis, counseling and resources to fully resolve identity theft, and reimburse for any money stolen due to the data and identity theft. On Thursday, Equifax disclosed that a data breach it discovered on July 29 may have impacted as many as 143 million consumers in the United States. This will certainly impact your or someone you know.  The data that was stolen were things that we cannot easily change, such as social security numbers, date of birth, name, address, driver's license number, among other information. What can someone do with this information? They can steal your identity. They can open and use credit cards or obtain loans with your information, and ruin your credit. They can go buy a mobile phone and get mobile service, compliments of your identity, and the bills will go to you. They can steal your identity to take a job and elect not to withhold taxes so that you are on the hook for the taxes. They can file a tax return and make it look like you get a refund, but the refund will be sent to the thieves. They can use your information to obtain medical care from a doctor and hospital, get expensive drugs and medical equipment with the bills going to you, and possibly resulting in a denial of medical services to you because your limits have been reached. After the thieves use your information to steal from you, your credit will start to get impacted. Unpaid bills will go on your credit. In our credit based society, you need good credit to rent an apartment or house based, obtain a job, obtain a student loan, open lines of credit for a credit card or for your small business loan, etc. The stolen data will persist and will retain its value to the attackers for years to come because we cannot change information, such as our SSN, DOB, and our names. Identity thieves will ruin what we have worked so hard for. The data is extremely valuable and greatly impact our everyday lives and future lives. Don't forget that children's identities are also valuable because they have clean credit to start with and most parents don't monitor their children's credit. Imagine your child trying to obtain a student loan, or getting his first job or apartment, but being denied for identity theft that happened years before. Equifax was careless, negligent, and wreckless in their data security and now they only want to give the affected consumers 1 year of free credit monitoring, when they know full well how valuable the information is to the hackers and that the information is the key to our identities. Our personal data cannot be changed so identity theft can still take place years from now. The average victim spends nearly $500 and 30 hours resolving just one identity theft incident. Now consider how many credit cards can be applied for, how many mobile phones can be purchased, how many other things can and will happen during your life now that this information is out there in perpetuity and multiply this by the cost and time averages. Equifax must make this right by providing each service for free, for the duration of each person’s lifetime: Security freeze and unfreeze with all credit bureaus (unlimited), Credit monitoring (detection and alert) with all credit bureaus through a third party (Equifax cannot provide the detection and alert because Equifax cannot be trusted), Credit score on a monthly basis from all credit bureaus, Counseling and resources to fully resolve identity theft (through a third party because Equifax cannot be trusted), and Reimburse for any money stolen due to the data and identity theft.

Pam Duncan
1,580 supporters
Started 5 months ago

Petition to Rob Bishop

Protections for US Citizen's Identity (PII) - #equifax

Shouldn't we, as citizens, have better ownership and rights to our Personal Identity Information (PII)? At the very least can we establish an expectation of easy access, control, and accountability with those who collect and use this information.  If mishandled, it can destroy lives and have decades of impact, yet increasingly it seems the precedent is being set that a breach like Equifax's can be resolved with credit monitoring for a year.The Equifax problem highlights a gaping hole we have in the USA around PII protection.  The free market will not fix this situation because the people they collect the data on are unwilling customers (even more so for the credit reporting agencies).  We have no choice to opt out let alone easily manage our data, and those who buy the credit scores (lenders) treat the simple presence of identity information as authorization and authentication, and they don't care because they are not affected when there is a data breach, and if there was identity fraud, the burden of proof is backwards.  The victim has to prove they didn't commit the crime! Regulation can be dangerous, but it seems this is a situation where it is called for: when a citizen's liberty is being trampled; and the Equifax breach will trample on people's liberty for decades to come – yet they are offering a pittance of one year's credit monitoring as if this will help for a lifetime of damage.  Perhaps the EU's GDPR takes things a bit too far for the USA, but it can be used as a reference point, and we need something in our citizen's rights to their own identity in this modern world. Some identity information is already protected at the state and some federal levels, but we need to take it further; including acceptable recourse when there is a breach of key identity information. Options to consider: Fixing the Missing link - Authentication. Companies using our PII data should be culpable for mishandling this data, including strong penalties along the lines of GDPR.  If negligence is found, they should be able to pierce the corporate umbrella and target individuals as well at the executive level with criminal charges.  Corporations need to take this seriously. Classification of our PII data (Name, Phone, Address, SSN, DL#, and other bank/credit account information) that comes with requirements for people collecting and handling it, giving us rights to our own identity. It has to be easy for identity owners (each of us) to correct misinformation – as easy as it was for the entity to collect it in the first place.  Used for cleaning up identity fraud. It should be free and easy for us to lock our credit information and restrict it from being used without our consent.  Currently, this can be done, but it is a charged fee.  Why are we charged to control our own information? Companies using PII data should have to easily make available a report to the individuals for whose data they have, without fee, for what they are reporting, and who they reported it to (this can be done online). Change finance identification law so that the victim is presumed innocent until proven guilty (such as in the case of identity theft.) The lender who fails to perform acceptable due diligence loses (the presence of PII is not sufficient as is being done now). This would be a powerful motivation for the finance industry to adopt new techniques that minimize their risk, and it would help reduce the impact of data loss in a PII breach.  Right now lenders accept the presence of identity as authentication, and this is wrong.

Brandon Gillespie
158 supporters