- Associated Press - Monday, September 25, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - Attorney General Maura Healey is backing a bill that she says will help guard consumers against data breaches.

The bill is aimed at protecting consumers by eliminating fees and establishing a one-stop shop for placing credit freezes, mandating encryption of personal information in credit reports, and requiring that companies obtain consent before accessing or using consumer credit reports and credit scores.

The bill is co-sponsored by state Sen. Barbara L’Italien and state Rep. Jennifer Benson - both Democrats.

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The bill was introduced at the Statehouse on Monday, less than a week after Healey, a Democrat, filed a lawsuit against the credit reporting company Equifax after the company announced 143 million Americans, including nearly three million Massachusetts residents, had their information exposed- including Social Security numbers, birthdates and address histories.

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