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Warm state proposes credit freeze law

Virginia governor Timothy M. Kaine introduced legislation aimed at standardizing corporate response to data breaches to the state’s General Assembly. It guards against identity theft and credit fraud.

The proposed law would require companies to notify consumers if their personal information is accidentally compro­mised or made public and would allow the consumer to initiate a freeze to prevent any new accounts from being opened in the consumer’s name.

Credit reporting agencies would be allowed to charge a $5 fee for starting or lifting a freeze, although the fee would be waived for identity theft victims.

In addition, the Federal Trade Commission is seeking comments on the impact and effectiveness of credit freezes on or before February 25.

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