NY Gov. Cuomo wants tougher rules for credit reporting firms

Markets Associated Press

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday proposed tougher state regulations for credit reporting agencies such as Equifax in the wake of the massive hacking of the Atlanta-based company's computers.

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The Democrat announced that he has directed the state Department of Financial Services to issue new regulations requiring credit reporting agencies to register in New York for the first time and to comply with the state's cybersecurity standards.

The proposal, first reported Monday by The New York Times , would require Equifax, Experian and similar firms to adhere to the same consumer protection rules the state imposes on banks and insurance companies.

Equifax announced last week that hackers broke into its software and gained access to Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses and full legal names from a massive database maintained primarily for lenders.

Cuomo said consumer credit reporting agencies operating in New York will be required to register annually with DFS by Feb. 1, 2018, and by Feb. 1 of each year afterward. The DFS superintendent will have the authority to deny or revoke an agency's authorization to do business with New York consumers and state-regulated financial institutions if a firm fails to comply with regulations, the governor said.

"The Equifax breach was a wakeup call and with this action New York is raising the bar for consumer protections that we hope will be replicated across the nation," Cuomo said.