This week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a press release directing the New York Department of State to issue a new regulation impacting consumer reporting agencies. The new regulation was adopted on an emergency basis and went into immediate effect in order to protect consumers from identity theft and other potential economic harms that may arise following a data breach.
The regulation requires consumer reporting agencies to:
- Identify dedicated points of contact for the Division of Consumer Protection to obtain information to assist New York consumers in the event of a data breach;
- Respond within 10 days to information requests made on behalf of consumers by the Division of Consumer Protection;
- File a form with certain information to the Division of Consumer Protection, including all fees associated with the purchase or use of products and services marketed as identity theft protection products as well as a listing and description of all business affiliations and contractual relationships with any other entities relating to the provision of any identity theft prevention or mitigation products or services; and
- In any advertisements or other promotional materials, disclose any and all fees associated with the purchase or use of proprietary products offered to consumers for the prevention of identity theft, including, if offered on a trial basis, any and all fees charged for its purchase or use after the trial period and the requisites of cancellation of such continued use.
The protections appear targeted to address alleged abuses by the consumer reporting industry following the recent Equifax data breach. Cuomo also announced that the Division of Consumer Protection will be issuing a demand letter to Equifax for information to assess the damage and risk of identity theft to New York State consumers resulting from the data breach.
Cuomo did not address the status of previously announced proposed regulations of the consumer credit reporting agencies by the New York Department of Financial Services.