Sen. Elizabeth Warren—and 11 other Democratic senators—introduced legislation Friday targeting credit reporting companies in the wake of the Equifax data breach that affected 143 million US consumers, Reuters reports. In short, the Freedom from Equifax Exploitation Act would keep Equifax from profiting off its own data breach, according to CNN. "Credit reporting agencies like Equifax make billions of dollars collecting and selling personal data about consumers without their consent, and then make consumers pay if they want to stop the sharing of their own data," Warren says.
The bill would allow people to freeze and unfreeze their credit free of charge. Freezing credit prevents new lines of credit, loans, credit cards, and more from being opened. Experts have urged people to freeze their credit in the wake of the Equifax hack. The bill would also give people an additional free credit report every year and keep credit reporting companies from profiting off consumers' data while their credit is frozen. Bloomberg reports Warren sent letters to Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian Plc demanding information on how the industry is responding to the data breach. In her letter to Equifax, she says she was "troubled" by the hack. Despite widespread outrage over the Equifax data breach, it's possible the Freedom from Equifax Exploitation Act will stall in a Republican-controlled Congress.