13C.016 CONSUMER SECURITY FREEZE.
Subdivision 1. Definitions.
(a) For purposes of this section and sections
the terms defined in this section have the meanings given.
(b) "Security freeze" means a notice placed in a consumer's consumer report, at the request
of the consumer and subject to certain exceptions, that prohibits the consumer reporting agency
from releasing the consumer report or any information from it, in connection with the extension
of credit or the opening of a new account, without the express authorization of the consumer. If a
security freeze is in place, information from a consumer's consumer report may not be released to
a third party, in connection with the extension of credit or the opening of an account, without
prior express authorization from the consumer. This paragraph does not prevent a consumer
reporting agency from advising a third party that a security freeze is in effect with respect to
the consumer report.
(c) "Victim of identity theft" means a consumer who has a copy of a valid police report
evidencing that the consumer has alleged to be a victim of identity theft as defined in section
Subd. 2. Right to obtain security freeze.
A consumer may elect to place a security freeze
on the consumer's consumer report by making a request to a consumer reporting agency. The
consumer may make the request:
(1) by certified mail;
(2) by telephone by providing certain personal identification required by the consumer
reporting agency; or
(3) directly to the consumer reporting agency through a secure electronic mail connection if
the connection is made available by the consumer reporting agency.
Subd. 3. Response of consumer reporting agency.
(a) A consumer reporting agency shall
place a security freeze on a consumer's consumer report no later than three business days after
receiving a request under subdivision 2 from the consumer.
(b) The consumer reporting agency, within ten business days after receiving the request,
shall send a written confirmation of the security freeze to the consumer and provide the consumer
with a unique personal identification number or password to be used by the consumer when
providing authorization for the release of the consumer's consumer report for a specific party or
period of time.
(c) When a consumer requests a security freeze, the consumer reporting agency shall
disclose the process of placing and temporarily lifting a freeze, including the process for allowing
access to information from the consumer's consumer report for a specific party or period of time
while the freeze is in place.
Subd. 4. Temporary lifting or permanent removal of freeze.
(a) If the consumer wishes to
allow the consumer's consumer report to be accessed for a specific party or period of time while
a freeze is in place, the consumer shall contact the consumer reporting agency, request that the
freeze be temporarily lifted, and provide the following:
(1) proper identification, which means that information generally deemed sufficient
to identify a person. Only if the consumer is unable to sufficiently provide self-identifying
information may a consumer reporting agency require additional information concerning the
consumer's employment and personal or family history in order to verify the consumer's identity;
(2) the unique personal identification number or password provided by the credit reporting
agency under subdivision 3, paragraph (b); and
(3) the proper information regarding the third party who is to receive the consumer report or
the time period for which the report is to be available to users of the consumer report.
(b) A consumer reporting agency that receives a request from a consumer to temporarily lift
a freeze on a consumer report under paragraph (a) shall comply with the request no later than
three business days after receiving the request.
(c) A consumer reporting agency may develop procedures involving the use of telephone,
fax, the Internet, or other electronic media to receive and process a request from a consumer to
temporarily lift a freeze on a consumer report under paragraph (a) in an expedited manner, with
the goal of processing a request within 15 minutes after the request.
(d) A consumer reporting agency shall remove or temporarily lift a freeze placed on a
consumer report only in the following cases:
(1) upon consumer request under paragraph (a) or (e); or
(2) when the consumer report was frozen due to a material misrepresentation of fact by the
consumer. When a consumer reporting agency intends to remove a freeze on a consumer report
under this clause, the consumer reporting agency shall notify the consumer in writing three
business days prior to removing the freeze on the consumer report.
(e) A security freeze remains in place until the consumer requests that the security freeze be
removed. A consumer reporting agency shall remove a security freeze within three business days
of receiving a request for removal from the consumer, who provides both of the following:
(1) proper identification, as defined in paragraph (a), clause (1); and
(2) the unique personal identification number or password referenced in paragraph (a),
Subd. 5. Response by third party to denial of access.
When a third party requests access
to a consumer report on which a security freeze is in effect, and this request is in connection
with an application for credit or the opening of an account and the consumer does not allow the
consumer's consumer report to be accessed for that specific party or period of time, the third
party may treat the application as incomplete.
Subd. 6. Nonapplicability.
This section does not apply to the use of a consumer report by
any of the following:
(1) a person or entity, or a subsidiary, affiliate, or agent of that person or entity, or an assignee
of a financial obligation owing by the consumer to that person or entity, or a prospective assignee
of a financial obligation owing by the consumer to that person or entity in conjunction with
the proposed purchase of the financial obligation, with which the consumer has or had prior to
assignment an account or contract, including a demand deposit account, or to whom the consumer
issued a negotiable instrument, for the purposes of reviewing the account or collecting the
financial obligation owing for the account, contract, or negotiable instrument. For purposes of this
clause, "reviewing the account" includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring,
credit line increases, and account upgrades and enhancements;
(2) a subsidiary, affiliate, agent, assignee, or prospective assignee of a person to whom
access has been granted under subdivision 4 for purposes of facilitating the extension of credit or
other permissible use;
(3) any federal, state, or local governmental entity, including but not limited to a law
enforcement agency, court, or its agents or assigns;
(4) a private collection agency acting under a court order, warrant, or subpoena;
(5) any person or entity for the purposes of prescreening as provided for by the federal
Fair Credit Reporting Act;
(6) any person or entity administering a credit file monitoring subscription service to which
the consumer has subscribed; and
(7) any person or entity for the purpose of providing a consumer with a copy of the
consumer's consumer report upon the consumer's request.
Subd. 7. Information to government agencies not affected.
This section does not prohibit
a consumer reporting agency from furnishing to a governmental agency a consumer's name,
address, former address, places of employment, or former places of employment.
Subd. 8. Fees.
(a) A consumer reporting agency may charge a fee of $5 for placing,
temporarily lifting, or removing a security freeze unless:
(1) the consumer is a victim of identity theft as defined in subdivision 1, paragraph (c); and
(2) the consumer provides the consumer reporting agency with a valid copy of a police report
or a police case number documenting the identity theft.
(b) In addition to the charge, if any, permitted under paragraph (a), a consumer may be
charged no more than $5 if the consumer fails to retain the original personal identification number
given to the consumer by the agency, but the consumer may not be charged for a onetime reissue
of the same or a new personal identification number. The consumer may be charged no more than
$5 for subsequent instances of loss of the personal identification number.
History: 2006 c 233 s 2