NY lawmaker wants tighter rules for credit-monitoring firms

New York state would add greater protections for consumers and tougher regulations for credit monitoring firms following the massive Equifax breach under a series of proposals announced Thursday by a state senator.

Democratic Sen. David Carlucci of Rockland County told The Associated Press he wants to see the Legislature require credit monitoring firms to offer free credit monitoring and credit freezes to any consumer. He's also calling for expanded consumer access to free credit reports.

Another proposal would set new standards for cybersecurity and impose greater regulations and licensing requirements on credit-monitoring firms.

Carlucci said existing state and federal regulations haven't kept up with technology and that data breaches are only going to become more common — and more of a problem.

"We are just woefully unprepared to meet the challenges that we're dealing with today," he said. "This is something that's on the rise, costing more and more money, and we haven't kept up with the times."

The Equifax breach exposed personal information for 145 million Americans and 8 million New Yorkers. Carlucci's proposals come from a subsequent legislative hearing he chaired that focused on the breach and what consumers can do to protect themselves.

A spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Equifax has said her company is "actively engaging" with state and federal officials looking into the breach.

Carlucci's proposals are expected to be considered once lawmakers return to Albany in January to begin the 2018 session.