In the wake of the massive Equifax leak, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced plans to require all credit reporting agencies to register with the state.
According to news from Reuters, the proposed regulation would take effect in February, requiring all agencies – including TransUnion and Experian – to report their officers or directors who are responsible for compliance with laws and regulations involving financial services, banking and insurance each year. If the companies fail to register, they risk being barred from doing business with financial companies regulated by New York State.
The state would also be able to bar a credit reporting agency from doing business if it is found to engage in “unfair, deceptive or predatory practices.”
“The Equifax breach was a wakeup call,” Cuomo said in the statement, “and with this action, New York is raising the bar for consumer protections that we hope will be replicated across the nation.”
Currently, Maine is the only U.S. state that requires credit reporting agencies to register, but its law does not cover cybersecurity. A New York State cybersecurity regulation, the first of its kind in the country, took effect on March 1. It requires financial firms to take measures to protect networks and customer data from hackers and to disclose cyber events to state regulators.
In addition, a federal criminal investigation has reportedly been opened into Equifax executives’ stock sales before disclosure of the data breach that has impacted about 143 million consumers. Last week, 36 senators signed a letter asking the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to start an investigation into the sale of approximately $1.8 million in stock by three executives (including Chief Financial Officer John Gamble) between July 29 – the day Equifax learned of the data breach that occurred in mid-May – and when they made it public last week. Equifax has said the executives were unaware of the hack when they sold the stock.
Shares of Equifax, which have fallen about a third since the hack was announced, were up 1.5 percent at $94.38 at the market close.