Consumer Data Protection / Response to Equifax Data Breach 2018
Several recent major data breaches affecting Oregonians and national consumers made it clear this problem needed attention from the Oregon Legislature. This year Senator Prozanski and I led an interim workgroup and Chief Sponsored SB 1551 to respond to the massive breach of consumer data by the Credit Reporting Agency Equifax aiming to all hold entities with consumer information to higher standards.
It is unacceptable that a corporation has free reign with our most sensitive personal and financial information often not taking the necessary steps to ensure the information is as secure as possible. When a data breach occurs, Oregonians deserve to know about it as soon as possible and to have an easy and inexpensive means to secure their information.
SB 1551 will institute a number of key provisions including:
Unlimited free credit freezes or unfreezes.
Requirement to notify consumers within 45 days after a breach is discovered.
Limits on upselling or the ability of companies that offer free credit monitoring after a data breach to couple that free offer to an additional paid service they may offer during the same transaction.
Requirement to better safeguarding and practices to protect consumers’ personal information.
Debt Buyer Regulation 2017
The House Committee on Business and Labor introduced and passed HB 2356 that will require entities that purchase debt and subsequently take collection actions on consumers, also known as “debt buyers”, to register with the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). Its passage ensures that debt buyers are compliant with several requirements necessary for consumer protection from fraud and unethical collection practices while providing transparency, disclosure, and efficient court processes. This bill passed out of both chambers successfully and I am very proud of the years of work that went into creating this vital piece of consumer protection legislation.
Shell Corporations 2017
HB 2191 will require all corporations that operate in the State of Oregon to be registered and obtain a license from the Secretary of State. The corporation will obtain a license if it has a physical address in the State of Oregon and agrees to a certain level of transparency, including allowing permission of the Secretary of State to review relevant corporate documents at will. This bill passed out of both chambers and will now be signed into law. Not unlike the debt buyer bill, I have been working with stakeholders on this bill for several years and am incredibly pleased with its passage. This legislation will help prevent fraudulent entities from operating in Oregon and protect consumers.
Net Neutrality 2018
I adamantly believe in an open and accessible internet for the public. When the Federal Communications Commission recently repealed rules that enforced net neutrality (the principle that all internet traffic be treated equally) I joined with Representative Jennifer Williamson to Chief Sponsor House Bill 4155. This bill prohibits public bodies from contracting with broadband internet service providers that engage in paid prioritization, blocking lawful content or applications, or disadvantages lawful internet content. With uncertainty at the federal level we need to do everything possible to preserve net neutrality in Oregon. I believe this measure will be a step toward protecting an open internet for Oregonians.
Drug Price Increase Transparency 2018
The skyrocketing cost of pharmaceuticals is making life-saving drugs unaffordable to those who need them the most. HB 4005 creates a statewide prescription drug cost and price transparency program. By targeting price-gougers, this bill will shine a light on how drug prices are set by requiring drug manufacturers to justify large cost increases for prescription drugs. HB 4005 also requires drug manufacturers to report marketing and research costs to the Department of Consumer and Business Services and to make policy recommendations to reduce costs based on the newly provided information.