Information Policy Institute encourages Congress to enact a rational and uniform national law on consumer credit file freezing

The Information Policy Institute today released a white paper endorsing the enactment of a rational and uniform national consumer credit file freeze law.

“File freeze legislation enacted in the states gives roughly one-third of all Americans some ability to freeze their credit report. These laws, however, are all over the map. Given the existence of national credit markets and national credit reporting laws, it is sensible that all Americans enjoy the same ability to add another layer of control over who may access and use their personal credit information,” said Dr. Michael Turner, President and Senior Scholar of the Information Policy Institute.

The Information Policy Institute contends that granting an individual the right to freeze his/her credit file is at best one tool in a large toolbox used to effectively combat identity fraud. Other tools, such as data breach notifications and fraud monitoring services, appear to have had an impact on the incidence of ID fraud, as evidenced by the reduction the estimated number of ID fraud victims. A recent Javelin study reports a decrease in identity fraud victims from 10.1 million in 2003 to 9.3 million in 2004.

“We anticipate this trend to continue given that key FACT Act ID fraud measures such as fraud alerts have not yet been implemented,” said Dr. Turner. “It is also likely that recent growth in ID fraud complaints are the product of a growing awareness about the crime. Informed consumers taking simple steps to protect their personal information is perhaps the greatest single weapon in the fight against ID fraudsters,” added Dr. Turner.

States move quickly on file freeze, inchoate tapestry of laws necessitates passage of uniform national standard

Ten states have already enacted file freeze legislation-similar bills are awaiting a governor’s signature in two other states-and as many as ten more are expected to pass similar laws this year and into 2006.

Download the white paper

About Information Policy Institute
The Information Policy Institute is the nation’s premier center for research, education, and outreach on all issues pertaining to the regulation of information in both the United States and globally. Incorporated as a non-profit organization, The Institute is expressly non-partisan in outlook, and seeks to advance public policy through the judicious application of academically rigorous analysis. The Institute is funded by both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations that support the Institute’s general mission and agenda.


Robert Poinvil
Information Policy Institute
212-629-4557 x.10