New CA Bill Would Authorize a Security Freeze on a Consumer Report

Angela Preston

California has a reputation for being the leader in introducing new and perplexing legislation that can set the tone for over eager copy-cat legislatures in other states. It was one of the first states to pass a law allowing consumers to place a “freeze” on their credit reports.  And now, California SB 1384 (Simitian), “Consumer Reports: Security Freeze”, attempts to extend that right to other types of consumer reports.
Existing laws in most states now permit a consumer to place and to remove a security freeze on his or her credit reports with the major credit bureaus. Consumers can essentially put their credit file on lock down, usually in an attempt to avoid identity theft.  This new bill in California would authorize a consumer to place a security freeze on consumer report, potentially including background checks pulled for employment or renting housing. The proposed law would presumably extend to national tenant screening agencies, some employment screening entities, as well as other companies that maintain “consumer files” as defined in statute. The full implications of this bill are still under review, but we will keep you up-to-date as new information is available.

Angela Preston
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Angela Preston

Vice President of Compliance & General Counsel at EmployeeScreenIQ
Angela Preston has more than 20 years as a licensed attorney and over 10 years in the background screening area. She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), is a member of the NAPBS Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC), and is actively involved in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and ASIS International. Angela is also a member of the Ohio State and Columbus Bar Associations. Angela has direct oversight and management of compliance programs, and will provide guidance in complex legal matters including state and federal legislation, EEO law, client education, adjudication, pre/adverse action process, NAPBS Accreditation and client and vendor contract management.
Angela Preston
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