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Protecting your identity is about to get easier in Utah

State senator continues to fight pornography in Utah (File photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Thursday morning, we learned that an additional 2.4 million Americans were impacted by the Equifax security breach. That’s in addition to the 145 million people who we already know are effected.

Those millions of people, and just about everybody else, would be wise to put a freeze on their credit. Doing so protects a consumer from an identity thief opening a new line of credit in the consumer’s name.

Also happening Thursday, action on Utah’s capitol hill that will make it easier for consumers in Utah to do just that.

Currently in the state of Utah, consumers have to pay to 'freeze' their credit, as well as to 'thaw' their credit if they need to open a new line of credit for, say, a new credit card or to finance a car.

But as Get Gephardt investigated last fall, that's not the case everywhere. Seven states do not allow their citizens to be charged for placing a credit freeze.

After the Eqifax breech was first reported last Fall, state senator Todd Weiler said he was going to introduce legislation aimed at making it illegal for the nation’s credit bureaus to continue to charge for freezing and thawing.

True to his word, HB 45, which he cosponsored with Rep. Jim Dunnigan, will forbid a consumer reporting agency from charging a fee for “placing, removing, or temporarily removing a security freeze."

Thursday, HB 45 passed the state senate. It has already passed the house and now has one more small procedural hurdle to clear before heading to Governor Herbert for his signature. If signed, the bill will go into effect on May 8.

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