Bid To Let Card Users To Freeze PersonalInformation

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NEW YORK - (04/27/05) -- The recent rash of large-scaleidentity thefts has given momentum to a bid to allow individuals tolock down their credit information if they believe their personalinformation has been compromised. Lawmakers in 18 states areconsidering legislation that would allow a person to freeze theirpersonal credit card information. The proposals would force creditbureaus to give consumers the right to block their accounts to keepanyone from instantly opening a new credit card or account in theirnames. The bids come as several retailers and credit card companieshave reported major online security breaches, including HSBC, whichwarned 180,000 customers of its General Motors-branded MasterCardearlier this month to cancel their cards in the face of possibletheft from retailer Polo Ralph Lauren. And last week, Lexis Nexisreported that hackers had broken into its database, possiblygaining access to customers' data. And last year, 163 credit unionswere forced to recall their credit/debit cards because of asecurity breach at BJ's Wholesale Club.

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