CEI Opposes the Protecting Your Credit Score Act

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The House of Representatives today is considering H.R. 5332, the Protecting Your Credit Score Act, a bill that would require credit bureaus to jointly create an online consumer portal for consumers to access free credit reports and scores and dispute errors.

H.R. 5332 would also direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to establish a credit reporting ombudsman to oversee the industry and carry out supervisory or enforcement actions against credit reporting agencies.

CEI opposes this legislation.

CEI Policy Analyst Matthew Adams:

“CEI opposes H.R. 5332 because the bill would put consumers’ data at risk, encourage frivolous lawsuits, and expand the power of unaccountable bureaucrats.

“More specifically, the bill would require major credit bureaus to create a free, online credit report portal. While this may sound beneficial to consumers, it actually poses a significant cybersecurity risk. In the event of a data breach, hackers could gain access to copious amounts of a consumer’s personal information, including credit history and social security number.

“The bill also expands the private rights of action in the credit reporting space and allows for courts to award injunctive relief, meaning a likely increase in frivolous lawsuits against financial institutions under the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Related to this, the bill extends no legal protection to credit bureaus in the situation where there was a major data breach, leaving businesses at risk to class-action lawsuits.

“Finally, the legislation would also expand the power of the CFPB by establishing an ombudsman at the bureau to resolve ‘persistent errors that are not resolved in a timely manner by a consumer reporting agency,’ and enhance “oversight of consumer reporting agencies…” This ambiguous wording sets the stage for unaccountable bureaucrats at the CFPB to go after businesses deemed ‘high risk’ to consumers, just like they did in Operation Choke Point a few years ago.

“While well-meaning, the Protecting Your Credit Score Act is a concerning piece of legislation, and I urge all members of the House to vote against it.”