Details of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act

An Act To amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act, to prevent identity theft, improve resolution of consumer disputes, improve the accuracy of consumer records, make improvements in the use of, and consumer access to, credit information, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS. (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the `Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003′. (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents for this Act is as follows: Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. Sec. 2. Definitions. Sec. 3. Effective dates. TITLE I–IDENTITY THEFT PREVENTION AND CREDIT HISTORY RESTORATION Subtitle A–Identity Theft Prevention Sec. 111. Amendment to definitions. Sec. 112. Fraud alerts and active duty alerts. Sec. 113. Truncation of credit card and debit card account numbers. Sec. 114. Establishment of procedures for the identification of possible instances of identity theft. Sec. 115. Authority to truncate social security numbers. Subtitle B–Protection and Restoration of Identity Theft Victim Credit History Sec. 151. Summary of rights of identity theft victims. Sec. 152. Blocking of information resulting from identity theft. Sec. 153. Coordination of identity theft complaint investigations. Sec. 154. Prevention of repollution of consumer reports. Sec. 155. Notice by debt collectors with respect to fraudulent information. Sec. 156. Statute of limitations. Sec. 157. Study on the use of technology to combat identity theft. TITLE II–IMPROVEMENTS IN USE OF AND CONSUMER ACCESS TO CREDIT INFORMATION Sec. 211. Free consumer reports. Sec. 212. Disclosure of credit scores. Sec. 213. Enhanced disclosure of the means available to opt out of prescreened lists. Sec. 214. Affiliate sharing. Sec. 215. Study of effects of credit scores and credit-based insurance scores on availability and affordability of financial products. Sec. 216. Disposal of consumer report information and records. Sec. 217. Requirement to disclose communications to a consumer reporting agency. TITLE III–ENHANCING THE ACCURACY OF CONSUMER REPORT INFORMATION Sec. 311. Risk-based pricing notice. Sec. 312. Procedures to enhance the accuracy and integrity of information furnished to consumer reporting agencies. Sec. 313. FTC and consumer reporting agency action concerning complaints. Sec. 314. Improved disclosure of the results of reinvestigation. Sec. 315. Reconciling addresses. Sec. 316. Notice of dispute through reseller. Sec. 317. Reasonable reinvestigation required. Sec. 318. FTC study of issues relating to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Sec. 319. FTC study of the accuracy of consumer reports. TITLE IV–LIMITING THE USE AND SHARING OF MEDICAL INFORMATION IN THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM Sec. 411. Protection of medical information in the financial system. Sec. 412. Confidentiality of medical contact information in consumer reports. TITLE V–FINANCIAL LITERACY AND EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT Sec. 511. Short title. Sec. 512. Definitions. Sec. 513. Establishment of Financial Literacy and Education Commission. Sec. 514. Duties of the Commission. Sec. 515. Powers of the Commission. Sec. 516. Commission personnel matters. Sec. 517. Studies by the Comptroller General. Sec. 518. The national public service multimedia campaign to enhance the state of financial literacy. Sec. 519. Authorization of appropriations. TITLE VI–PROTECTING EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS Sec. 611. Certain employee investigation communications excluded from definition of consumer report. TITLE VII–RELATION TO STATE LAWS Sec. 711. Relation to State laws. TITLE VIII–MISCELLANEOUS Sec. 811. Clerical amendments. SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS. As used in this Act– (1) the term `Board’ means the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; (2) the term `Commission’, other than as used in title V, means the Federal Trade Commission; (3) the terms `consumer’, `consumer report’, `consumer reporting agency’, `creditor’, `Federal banking agencies’, and `financial institution’ have the same meanings as in section 603 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as amended by this Act; and (4) the term `affiliates’ means persons that are related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control. SEC. 3. EFFECTIVE DATES. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Act and the amendments made by this Act– (1) before the end of the 2-month period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Board and the Commission shall jointly prescribe regulations in final form establishing effective dates for each provision of this Act; and (2) the regulations prescribed under paragraph (1) shall establish effective dates that are as early as possible, while allowing a reasonable time for the implementation of the provisions of this Act, but in no case shall any such effective date be later than 10 months after the date of issuance of such regulations in final form.

TITLE I–IDENTITY THEFT PREVENTION AND CREDIT HISTORY RESTORATION

Subtitle A–Identity Theft Prevention Sec. 111. Amendment to definitions. Sec. 112. Fraud alerts and active duty alerts. Sec. 113. Truncation of credit card and debit card account numbers. Sec. 114. Establishment of procedures for the identification of possible instances of identity theft. Sec. 115. Authority to truncate social security numbers. Subtitle B–Protection and Restoration of Identity Theft Victim Credit History Sec. 151. Summary of rights of identity theft victims. Sec. 152. Blocking of information resulting from identity theft. Sec. 153. Coordination of identity theft complaint investigations. Sec. 154. Prevention of repollution of consumer reports. Sec. 155. Notice by debt collectors with respect to fraudulent information. Sec. 156. Statute of limitations. Sec. 157. Study on the use of technology to combat identity theft.

SEC. 111. AMENDMENT TO DEFINITIONS.

Section 603 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a) is amended by adding at the end the following: (q) DEFINITIONS RELATING TO FRAUD ALERTS- (1) ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY CONSUMER- The term `active duty military consumer’ means a consumer in military service who– (A) is on active duty (as defined in section 101(d)(1) of title 10, United States Code) or is a reservist performing duty under a call or order to active duty under a provision of law referred to in section 101(a)(13) of title 10, United States Code; and (B) is assigned to service away from the usual duty station of the consumer. (2) FRAUD ALERT; ACTIVE DUTY ALERT- The terms `fraud alert’ and `active duty alert’ mean a statement in the file of a consumer that– (A) notifies all prospective users of a consumer report relating to the consumer that the consumer may be a victim of fraud, including identity theft, or is an active duty military consumer, as applicable; and (B) is presented in a manner that facilitates a clear and conspicuous view of the statement described in subparagraph (A) by any person requesting such consumer report. (3) IDENTITY THEFT- The term `identity theft’ means a fraud committed using the identifying information of another person, subject to such further definition as the Commission may prescribe, by regulation. (4) IDENTITY THEFT REPORT- The term `identity theft report’ has the meaning given that term by rule of the Commission, and means, at a minimum, a report– (A) that alleges an identity theft; (B) that is a copy of an official, valid report filed by a consumer with an appropriate Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency, including the United States Postal Inspection Service, or such other government agency deemed appropriate by the Commission; and (C) the filing of which subjects the person filing the report to criminal penalties relating to the filing of false information if, in fact, the information in the report is false. (5) NEW CREDIT PLAN- The term `new credit plan’ means a new account under an open end credit plan (as defined in section 103(i) of the Truth in Lending Act) or a new credit transaction not under an open end credit plan. (r) Credit and Debit Related Terms– (1) CARD ISSUER- The term `card issuer’ means– (A) a credit card issuer, in the case of a credit card; and (B) a debit card issuer, in the case of a debit card. (2) CREDIT CARD- The term `credit card’ has the same meaning as in section 103 of the Truth in Lending Act. (3) DEBIT CARD- The term `debit card’ means any card issued by a financial institution to a consumer for use in initiating an electronic fund transfer from the account of the consumer at such financial institution, for the purpose of transferring money between accounts or obtaining money, property, labor, or services. (4) ACCOUNT AND ELECTRONIC FUND TRANSFER- The terms `account’ and `electronic fund transfer’ have the same meanings as in section 903 of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. (5) CREDIT AND CREDITOR- The terms `credit’ and `creditor’ have the same meanings as in section 702 of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. (s) FEDERAL BANKING AGENCY- The term `Federal banking agency’ has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act. (t) FINANCIAL INSTITUTION- The term `financial institution’ means a State or National bank, a State or Federal savings and loan association, a mutual savings bank, a State or Federal credit union, or any other person that, directly or indirectly, holds a transaction account (as defined in section 19(b) of the Federal Reserve Act) belonging to a consumer. (u) RESELLER- The term `reseller’ means a consumer reporting agency that– (1) assembles and merges information contained in the database of another consumer reporting agency or multiple consumer reporting agencies concerning any consumer for purposes of furnishing such information to any third party, to the extent of such activities; and (2) does not maintain a database of the assembled or merged information from which new consumer reports are produced. (v) COMMISSION- The term `Commission’ means the Federal Trade Commission. (w) NATIONWIDE SPECIALTY CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCY- The term `nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency’ means a consumer reporting agency that compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis relating to– (1) medical records or payments; (2) residential or tenant history; (3) check writing history; (4) employment history; or (5) insurance claims.’.

SEC. 112. FRAUD ALERTS AND ACTIVE DUTY ALERTS.

(a) FRAUD ALERTS- The Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 605 the following: Sec. 605A. Identity theft prevention; fraud alerts and active duty alerts (a) ONE-CALL FRAUD ALERTS- (1) INITIAL ALERTS- Upon the direct request of a consumer, or an individual acting on behalf of or as a personal representative of a consumer, who asserts in good faith a suspicion that the consumer has been or is about to become a victim of fraud or related crime, including identity theft, a consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p) that maintains a file on the consumer and has received appropriate proof of the identity of the requester shall– (A) include a fraud alert in the file of that consumer, and also provide that alert along with any credit score generated in using that file, for a period of not less than 90 days, beginning on the date of such request, unless the consumer or such representative requests that such fraud alert be removed before the end of such period, and the agency has received appropriate proof of the identity of the requester for such purpose; and (B) refer the information regarding the fraud alert under this paragraph to each of the other consumer reporting agencies described in section 603(p), in accordance with procedures developed under section 621(f). (2) ACCESS TO FREE REPORTS- In any case in which a consumer reporting agency includes a fraud alert in the file of a consumer pursuant to this subsection, the consumer reporting agency shall– (A) disclose to the consumer that the consumer may request a free copy of the file of the consumer pursuant to section 612(d); and (B) provide to the consumer all disclosures required to be made under section 609, without charge to the consumer, not later than 3 business days after any request described in subparagraph (A). (b) EXTENDED ALERTS- (1) IN GENERAL- Upon the direct request of a consumer, or an individual acting on behalf of or as a personal representative of a consumer, who submits an identity theft report to a consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p) that maintains a file on the consumer, if the agency has received appropriate proof of the identity of the requester, the agency shall– (A) include a fraud alert in the file of that consumer, and also provide that alert along with any credit score generated in using that file, during the 7-year period beginning on the date of such request, unless the consumer or such representative requests that such fraud alert be removed before the end of such period and the agency has received appropriate proof of the identity of the requester for such purpose; (B) during the 5-year period beginning on the date of such request, exclude the consumer from any list of consumers prepared by the consumer reporting agency and provided to any third party to offer credit or insurance to the consumer as part of a transaction that was not initiated by the consumer, unless the consumer or such representative requests that such exclusion be rescinded before the end of such period; and (C) refer the information regarding the extended fraud alert under this paragraph to each of the other consumer reporting agencies described in section 603(p), in accordance with procedures developed under section 621(f). (2) ACCESS TO FREE REPORTS- In any case in which a consumer reporting agency includes a fraud alert in the file of a consumer pursuant to this subsection, the consumer reporting agency shall– (A) disclose to the consumer that the consumer may request 2 free copies of the file of the consumer pursuant to section 612(d) during the 12-month period beginning on the date on which the fraud alert was included in the file; and (B) provide to the consumer all disclosures required to be made under section 609, without charge to the consumer, not later than 3 business days after any request described in subparagraph (A). (c) ACTIVE DUTY ALERTS- Upon the direct request of an active duty military consumer, or an individual acting on behalf of or as a personal representative of an active duty military consumer, a consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p) that maintains a file on the active duty military consumer and has received appropriate proof of the identity of the requester shall– (1) include an active duty alert in the file of that active duty military consumer, and also provide that alert along with any credit score generated in using that file, during a period of not less than 12 months, or such longer period as the Commission shall determine, by regulation, beginning on the date of the request, unless the active duty military consumer or such representative requests that such fraud alert be removed before the end of such period, and the agency has received appropriate proof of the identity of the requester for such purpose; (2) during the 2-year period beginning on the date of such request, exclude the active duty military consumer from any list of consumers prepared by the consumer reporting agency and provided to any third party to offer credit or insurance to the consumer as part of a transaction that was not initiated by the consumer, unless the consumer requests that such exclusion be rescinded before the end of such period; and (3) refer the information regarding the active duty alert to each of the other consumer reporting agencies described in section 603(p), in accordance with procedures developed under section 621(f). (d) PROCEDURES- Each consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p) shall establish policies and procedures to comply with this section, including procedures that inform consumers of the availability of initial, extended, and active duty alerts and procedures that allow consumers and active duty military consumers to request initial, extended, or active duty alerts (as applicable) in a simple and easy manner, including by telephone. (e) REFERRALS OF ALERTS- Each consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p) that receives a referral of a fraud alert or active duty alert from another consumer reporting agency pursuant to this section shall, as though the agency received the request from the consumer directly, follow the procedures required under– (1) paragraphs (1)(A) and (2) of subsection (a), in the case of a referral under subsection (a)(1)(B); (2) paragraphs (1)(A), (1)(B), and (2) of subsection (b), in the case of a referral under subsection (b)(1)(C); and (3) paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (c), in the case of a referral under subsection (c)(3). (f) DUTY OF RESELLER TO RECONVEY ALERT- A reseller shall include in its report any fraud alert or active duty alert placed in the file of a consumer pursuant to this section by another consumer reporting agency. (g) DUTY OF OTHER CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES TO PROVIDE CONTACT INFORMATION- If a consumer contacts any consumer reporting agency that is not described in section 603(p) to communicate a suspicion that the consumer has been or is about to become a victim of fraud or related crime, including identity theft, the agency shall provide information to the consumer on how to contact the Commission and the consumer reporting agencies described in section 603(p) to obtain more detailed information and request alerts under this section. (h) LIMITATIONS ON USE OF INFORMATION FOR CREDIT EXTENSIONS- (1) REQUIREMENTS FOR INITIAL AND ACTIVE DUTY ALERTS- (A) NOTIFICATION- Each initial fraud alert and active duty alert under this section shall include information that notifies all prospective users of a consumer report on the consumer to which the alert relates that the consumer does not authorize the establishment of any new credit plan or extension of credit, other than under an open-end credit plan (as defined in section 103(i)), in the name of the consumer, or issuance of an additional card on an existing credit account requested by a consumer, or any increase in credit limit on an existing credit account requested by a consumer, except in accordance with subparagraph (B). (B) LIMITATION ON USERS- (i) IN GENERAL- No prospective user of a consumer report that includes an initial fraud alert or an active duty alert in accordance with this section may establish a new credit plan or extension of credit, other than under an open-end credit plan (as defined in section 103(i)), in the name of the consumer, or issue an additional card on an existing credit account requested by a consumer, or grant any increase in credit limit on an existing credit account requested by a consumer, unless the user utilizes reasonable policies and procedures to form a reasonable belief that the user knows the identity of the person making the request. (ii) VERIFICATION- If a consumer requesting the alert has specified a telephone number to be used for identity verification purposes, before authorizing any new credit plan or extension described in clause (i) in the name of such consumer, a user of such consumer report shall contact the consumer using that telephone number or take reasonable steps to verify the consumer’s identity and confirm that the application for a new credit plan is not the result of identity theft. (2) REQUIREMENTS FOR EXTENDED ALERTS- (A) NOTIFICATION- Each extended alert under this section shall include information that provides all prospective users of a consumer report relating to a consumer with– (i) notification that the consumer does not authorize the establishment of any new credit plan or extension of credit described in clause (i), other than under an open-end credit plan (as defined in section 103(i)), in the name of the consumer, or issuance of an additional card on an existing credit account requested by a consumer, or any increase in credit limit on an existing credit account requested by a consumer, except in accordance with subparagraph (B); and (ii) a telephone number or other reasonable contact method designated by the consumer. (B) LIMITATION ON USERS- No prospective user of a consumer report or of a credit score generated using the information in the file of a consumer that includes an extended fraud alert in accordance with this section may establish a new credit plan or extension of credit, other than under an open-end credit plan (as defined in section 103(i)), in the name of the consumer, or issue an additional card on an existing credit account requested by a consumer, or any increase in credit limit on an existing credit account requested by a consumer, unless the user contacts the consumer in person or using the contact method described in subparagraph (A)(ii) to confirm that the application for a new credit plan or increase in credit limit, or request for an additional card is not the result of identity theft.’. (b) RULEMAKING- The Commission shall prescribe regulations to define what constitutes appropriate proof of identity for purposes of sections 605A, 605B, and 609(a)(1) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as amended by this Act.

SEC. 113. TRUNCATION OF CREDIT CARD AND DEBIT CARD ACCOUNT NUMBERS.

Section 605 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681c) is amended by adding at the end the following: (g) TRUNCATION OF CREDIT CARD AND DEBIT CARD NUMBERS- (1) IN GENERAL- Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, no person that accepts credit cards or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the last 5 digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of the sale or transaction. (2) LIMITATION- This subsection shall apply only to receipts that are electronically printed, and shall not apply to transactions in which the sole means of recording a credit card or debit card account number is by handwriting or by an imprint or copy of the card. (3) EFFECTIVE DATE- This subsection shall become effective– (A) 3 years after the date of enactment of this subsection, with respect to any cash register or other machine or device that electronically prints receipts for credit card or debit card transactions that is in use before January 1, 2005; and (B) 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, with respect to any cash register or other machine or device that electronically prints receipts for credit card or debit card transactions that is first put into use on or after January 1, 2005.’.

SEC. 114. ESTABLISHMENT OF PROCEDURES FOR THE IDENTIFICATION OF POSSIBLE INSTANCES OF IDENTITY THEFT.

Section 615 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681m) is amended– (1) by striking `(e)’ at the end; and (2) by adding at the end the following: (e) RED FLAG GUIDELINES AND REGULATIONS REQUIRED- (1) GUIDELINES- The Federal banking agencies, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Commission shall jointly, with respect to the entities that are subject to their respective enforcement authority under section 621– (A) establish and maintain guidelines for use by each financial institution and each creditor regarding identity theft with respect to account holders at, or customers of, such entities, and update such guidelines as often as necessary; (B) prescribe regulations requiring each financial institution and each creditor to establish reasonable policies and procedures for implementing the guidelines established pursuant to subparagraph (A), to identify possible risks to account holders or customers or to the safety and soundness of the institution or customers; and (C) prescribe regulations applicable to card issuers to ensure that, if a card issuer receives notification of a change of address for an existing account, and within a short period of time (during at least the first 30 days after such notification is received) receives a request for an additional or replacement card for the same account, the card issuer may not issue the additional or replacement card, unless the card issuer, in accordance with reasonable policies and procedures– (i) notifies the cardholder of the request at the former address of the cardholder and provides to the cardholder a means of promptly reporting incorrect address changes; (ii) notifies the cardholder of the request by such other means of communication as the cardholder and the card issuer previously agreed to; or (iii) uses other means of assessing the validity of the change of address, in accordance with reasonable policies and procedures established by the card issuer in accordance with the regulations prescribed under subparagraph (B). (2) CRITERIA- (A) IN GENERAL- In developing the guidelines required by paragraph (1)(A), the agencies described in paragraph (1) shall identify patterns, practices, and specific forms of activity that indicate the possible existence of identity theft. (B) INACTIVE ACCOUNTS- In developing the guidelines required by paragraph (1)(A), the agencies described in paragraph (1) shall consider including reasonable guidelines providing that when a transaction occurs with respect to a credit or deposit account that has been inactive for more than 2 years, the creditor or financial institution shall follow reasonable policies and procedures that provide for notice to be given to a consumer in a manner reasonably designed to reduce the likelihood of identity theft with respect to such account. (3) CONSISTENCY WITH VERIFICATION REQUIREMENTS- Guidelines established pursuant to paragraph (1) shall not be inconsistent with the policies and procedures required under section 5318(l) of title 31, United States Code.’.

SEC. 115. AUTHORITY TO TRUNCATE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS.

Section 609(a)(1) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681g(a)(1)) is amended by striking `except that nothing’ and inserting the following: `except that– (A) if the consumer to whom the file relates requests that the first 5 digits of the social security number (or similar identification number) of the consumer not be included in the disclosure and the consumer reporting agency has received appropriate proof of the identity of the requester, the consumer reporting agency shall so truncate such number in such disclosure; and (B) nothing’. Subtitle B–Protection and Restoration of Identity Theft Victim Credit History

SEC. 151. SUMMARY OF RIGHTS OF IDENTITY THEFT VICTIMS.

Subtitle B–Protection and Restoration of Identity Theft Victim Credit History (a) IN GENERAL- (1) SUMMARY- Section 609 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681g) is amended by adding at the end the following: (d) SUMMARY OF RIGHTS OF IDENTITY THEFT VICTIMS- (1) IN GENERAL- The Commission, in consultation with the Federal banking agencies and the National Credit Union Administration, shall prepare a model summary of the rights of consumers under this title with respect to the procedures for remedying the effects of fraud or identity theft involving credit, an electronic fund transfer, or an account or transaction at or with a financial institution or other creditor. (2) SUMMARY OF RIGHTS AND CONTACT INFORMATION- Beginning 60 days after the date on which the model summary of rights is prescribed in final form by the Commission pursuant to paragraph (1), if any consumer contacts a consumer reporting agency and expresses a belief that the consumer is a victim of fraud or identity theft involving credit, an electronic fund transfer, or an account or transaction at or with a financial institution or other creditor, the consumer reporting agency shall, in addition to any other action that the agency may take, provide the consumer with a summary of rights that contains all of the information required by the Commission under paragraph (1), and information on how to contact the Commission to obtain more detailed information. (e) INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO VICTIMS- (1) IN GENERAL- For the purpose of documenting fraudulent transactions resulting from identity theft, not later than 30 days after the date of receipt of a request from a victim in accordance with paragraph (3), and subject to verification of the identity of the victim and the claim of identity theft in accordance with paragraph (2), a business entity that has provided credit to, provided for consideration products, goods, or services to, accepted payment from, or otherwise entered into a commercial transaction for consideration with, a person who has allegedly made unauthorized use of the means of identification of the victim, shall provide a copy of application and business transaction records in the control of the business entity, whether maintained by the business entity or by another person on behalf of the business entity, evidencing any transaction alleged to be a result of identity theft to– (A) the victim; (B) any Federal, State, or local government law enforcement agency or officer specified by the victim in such a request; or (C) any law enforcement agency investigating the identity theft and authorized by the victim to take receipt of records provided under this subsection. (2) VERIFICATION OF IDENTITY AND CLAIM- Before a business entity provides any information under paragraph (1), unless the business entity, at its discretion, otherwise has a high degree of confidence that it knows the identity of the victim making a request under paragraph (1), the victim shall provide to the business entity– (A) as proof of positive identification of the victim, at the election of the business entity– (i) the presentation of a government-issued identification card; (ii) personally identifying information of the same type as was provided to the business entity by the unauthorized person; or (iii) personally identifying information that the business entity typically requests from new applicants or for new transactions, at the time of the victim’s request for information, including any documentation described in clauses (i) and (ii); and (B) as proof of a claim of identity theft, at the election of the business entity– (i) a copy of a police report evidencing the claim of the victim of identity theft; and (ii) a properly completed– (I) copy of a standardized affidavit of identity theft developed and made available by the Commission; or (II) an affidavit of fact that is acceptable to the business entity for that purpose. (3) PROCEDURES- The request of a victim under paragraph (1) shall– (A) be in writing; (B) be mailed to an address specified by the business entity, if any; and (C) if asked by the business entity, include relevant information about any transaction alleged to be a result of identity theft to facilitate compliance with this section including– (i) if known by the victim (or if readily obtainable by the victim), the date of the application or transaction; and (ii) if known by the victim (or if readily obtainable by the victim), any other identifying information such as an account or transaction number. (4) NO CHARGE TO VICTIM- Information required to be provided under paragraph (1) shall be so provided without charge. (5) AUTHORITY TO DECLINE TO PROVIDE INFORMATION- A business entity may decline to provide information under paragraph (1) if, in the exercise of good faith, the business entity determines that– (A) this subsection does not require disclosure of the information; (B) after reviewing the information provided pursuant to paragraph (2), the business entity does not have a high degree of confidence in knowing the true identity of the individual requesting the information; (C) the request for the information is based on a misrepresentation of fact by the individual requesting the information relevant to the request for information; or (D) the information requested is Internet navigational data or similar information about a person’s visit to a website or online service. (6) LIMITATION ON LIABILITY- Except as provided in section 621, sections 616 and 617 do not apply to any violation of this subsection. (7) LIMITATION ON CIVIL LIABILITY- No business entity may be held civilly liable under any provision of Federal, State, or other law for disclosure, made in good faith pursuant to this subsection. (8) NO NEW RECORDKEEPING OBLIGATION- Nothing in this subsection creates an obligation on the part of a business entity to obtain, retain, or maintain information or records that are not otherwise required to be obtained, retained, or maintained in the ordinary course of its business or under other applicable law. (9) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- (A) IN GENERAL- No provision of subtitle A of title V of Public Law 106-102, prohibiting the disclosure of financial information by a business entity to third parties shall be used to deny disclosure of information to the victim under this subsection. (B) LIMITATION- Except as provided in subparagraph (A), nothing in this subsection permits a business entity to disclose information, including information to law enforcement under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of paragraph (1), that the business entity is otherwise prohibited from disclosing under any other applicable provision of Federal or State law. (10) AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE- In any civil action brought to enforce this subsection, it is an affirmative defense (which the defendant must establish by a preponderance of the evidence) for a business entity to file an affidavit or answer stating that– (A) the business entity has made a reasonably diligent search of its available business records; and (B) the records requested under this subsection do not exist or are not reasonably available. (11) DEFINITION OF VICTIM- For purposes of this subsection, the term `victim’ means a consumer whose means of identification or financial information has been used or transferred (or has been alleged to have been used or transferred) without the authority of that consumer, with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, an identity theft or a similar crime. (12) EFFECTIVE DATE- This subsection shall become effective 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection. (13) EFFECTIVENESS STUDY- Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit a report to Congress assessing the effectiveness of this provision.’. (2) RELATION TO STATE LAWS- Section 625(b)(1) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681t(b)(1), as so redesignated) is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph: (G) section 609(e), relating to information available to victims under section 609(e);’. (b) PUBLIC CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall establish and implement a media and distribution campaign to teach the public how to prevent identity theft. Such campaign shall include existing Commission education materials, as well as radio, television, and print public service announcements, video cassettes, interactive digital video discs (DVD’s) or compact audio discs (CD’s), and Internet resources.

SEC. 152. BLOCKING OF INFORMATION RESULTING FROM IDENTITY THEFT.

(a) IN GENERAL- The Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 605A, as added by this Act, the following: Sec. 605B. Block of information resulting from identity theft (a) BLOCK- Except as otherwise provided in this section, a consumer reporting agency shall block the reporting of any information in the file of a consumer that the consumer identifies as information that resulted from an alleged identity theft, not later than 4 business days after the date of receipt by such agency of– (1) appropriate proof of the identity of the consumer; (2) a copy of an identity theft report; (3) the identification of such information by the consumer; and (4) a statement by the consumer that the information is not information relating to any transaction by the consumer. (b) NOTIFICATION- A consumer reporting agency shall promptly notify the furnisher of information identified by the consumer under subsection (a)– (1) that the information may be a result of identity theft; (2) that an identity theft report has been filed; (3) that a block has been requested under this section; and (4) of the effective dates of the block. (c) AUTHORITY TO DECLINE OR RESCIND- (1) IN GENERAL- A consumer reporting agency may decline to block, or may rescind any block, of information relating to a consumer under this section, if the consumer reporting agency reasonably determines that– (A) the information was blocked in error or a block was requested by the consumer in error; (B) the information was blocked, or a block was requested by the consumer, on the basis of a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer relevant to the request to block; or (C) the consumer obtained possession of goods, services, or money as a result of the blocked transaction or transactions. (2) NOTIFICATION TO CONSUMER- If a block of information is declined or rescinded under this subsection, the affected consumer shall be notified promptly, in the same manner as consumers are notified of the reinsertion of information under section 611(a)(5)(B). (3) SIGNIFICANCE OF BLOCK- For purposes of this subsection, if a consumer reporting agency rescinds a block, the presence of information in the file of a consumer prior to the blocking of such information is not evidence of whether the consumer knew or should have known that the consumer obtained possession of any goods, services, or money as a result of the block. (d) EXCEPTION FOR RESELLERS- (1) NO RESELLER FILE- This section shall not apply to a consumer reporting agency, if the consumer reporting agency– (A) is a reseller; (B) is not, at the time of the request of the consumer under subsection (a), otherwise furnishing or reselling a consumer report concerning the information identified by the consumer; and (C) informs the consumer, by any means, that the consumer may report the identity theft to the Commission to obtain consumer information regarding identity theft. (2) RESELLER WITH FILE- The sole obligation of the consumer reporting agency under this section, with regard to any request of a consumer under this section, shall be to block the consumer report maintained by the consumer reporting agency from any subsequent use, if– (A) the consumer, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a), identifies, to a consumer reporting agency, information in the file of the consumer that resulted from identity theft; and (B) the consumer reporting agency is a reseller of the identified information. (3) NOTICE- In carrying out its obligation under paragraph (2), the reseller shall promptly provide a notice to the consumer of the decision to block the file. Such notice shall contain the name, address, and telephone number of each consumer reporting agency from which the consumer information was obtained for resale. (e) EXCEPTION FOR VERIFICATION COMPANIES- The provisions of this section do not apply to a check services company, acting as such, which issues authorizations for the purpose of approving or processing negotiable instruments, electronic fund transfers, or similar methods of payments, except that, beginning 4 business days after receipt of information described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (a), a check services company shall not report to a national consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p), any information identified in the subject identity theft report as resulting from identity theft. (f) ACCESS TO BLOCKED INFORMATION BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES- No provision of this section shall be construed as requiring a consumer reporting agency to prevent a Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency from accessing blocked information in a consumer file to which the agency could otherwise obtain access under this title.’. (b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections for the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 605 the following new items: 605A. Identity theft prevention; fraud alerts and active duty alerts. 605B. Block of information resulting from identity theft.’.

SEC. 153. COORDINATION OF IDENTITY THEFT COMPLAINT INVESTIGATIONS.

Section 621 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681s) is amended by adding at the end the following: (f) COORDINATION OF CONSUMER COMPLAINT INVESTIGATIONS- (1) IN GENERAL- Each consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p) shall develop and maintain procedures for the referral to each other such agency of any consumer complaint received by the agency alleging identity theft, or requesting a fraud alert under section 605A or a block under section 605B. (2) MODEL FORM AND PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING IDENTITY THEFT- The Commission, in consultation with the Federal banking agencies and the National Credit Union Administration, shall develop a model form and model procedures to be used by consumers who are victims of identity theft for contacting and informing creditors and consumer reporting agencies of the fraud. (3) ANNUAL SUMMARY REPORTS- Each consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p) shall submit an annual summary report to the Commission on consumer complaints received by the agency on identity theft or fraud alerts.’.

SEC. 154. PREVENTION OF REPOLLUTION OF CONSUMER REPORTS.

(a) PREVENTION OF REINSERTION OF ERRONEOUS INFORMATION- Section 623(a) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681s-2(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following: (6) DUTIES OF FURNISHERS UPON NOTICE OF IDENTITY THEFT-RELATED INFORMATION- (A) REASONABLE PROCEDURES- A person that furnishes information to any consumer reporting agency shall have in place reasonable procedures to respond to any notification that it receives from a consumer reporting agency under section 605B relating to information resulting from identity theft, to prevent that person from refurnishing such blocked information. (B) INFORMATION ALLEGED TO RESULT FROM IDENTITY THEFT- If a consumer submits an identity theft report to a person who furnishes information to a consumer reporting agency at the address specified by that person for receiving such reports stating that information maintained by such person that purports to relate to the consumer resulted from identity theft, the person may not furnish such information that purports to relate to the consumer to any consumer reporting agency, unless the person subsequently knows or is informed by the consumer that the information is correct.’. (b) PROHIBITION ON SALE OR TRANSFER OF DEBT CAUSED BY IDENTITY THEFT- Section 615 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681m), as amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following: (f) PROHIBITION ON SALE OR TRANSFER OF DEBT CAUSED BY IDENTITY THEFT- (1) IN GENERAL- No person shall sell, transfer for consideration, or place for collection a debt that such person has been notified under section 605B has resulted from identity theft. (2) APPLICABILITY- The prohibitions of this subsection shall apply to all persons collecting a debt described in paragraph (1) after the date of a notification under paragraph (1). (3) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit– (A) the repurchase of a debt in any case in which the assignee of the debt requires such repurchase because the debt has resulted from identity theft; (B) the securitization of a debt or the pledging of a portfolio of debt as collateral in connection with a borrowing; or (C) the transfer of debt as a result of a merger, acquisition, purchase and assumption transaction, or transfer of substantially all of the assets of an entity.’.

SEC. 155. NOTICE BY DEBT COLLECTORS WITH RESPECT TO FRAUDULENT INFORMATION.

Section 615 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681m), as amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following: (g) DEBT COLLECTOR COMMUNICATIONS CONCERNING IDENTITY THEFT- If a person acting as a debt collector (as that term is defined in title VIII) on behalf of a third party that is a creditor or other user of a consumer report is notified that any information relating to a debt that the person is attempting to collect may be fraudulent or may be the result of identity theft, that person shall– (1) notify the third party that the information may be fraudulent or may be the result of identity theft; and (2) upon request of the consumer to whom the debt purportedly relates, provide to the consumer all information to which the consumer would otherwise be entitled if the consumer were not a victim of identity theft, but wished to dispute the debt under provisions of law applicable to that person.’.

SEC. 156. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.

Section 618 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681p) is amended to read as follows: Sec. 618. Jurisdiction of courts; limitation of actions An action to enforce any liability created under this title may be brought in any appropriate United States district court, without regard to the amount in controversy, or in any other court of competent jurisdiction, not later than the earlier of– (1) 2 years after the date of discovery by the plaintiff of the violation that is the basis for such liability; or (2) 5 years after the date on which the violation that is the basis for such liability occurs.’.

SEC. 157. STUDY ON THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY TO COMBAT IDENTITY THEFT.

(a) STUDY REQUIRED- The Secretary of the Treasury shall conduct a study of the use of biometrics and other similar technologies to reduce the incidence and costs to society of identity theft by providing convincing evidence of who actually performed a given financial transaction. (b) CONSULTATION- The Secretary of the Treasury shall consult with Federal banking agencies, the Commission, and representatives of financial institutions, consumer reporting agencies, Federal, State, and local government agencies that issue official forms or means of identification, State prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, the biometric industry, and the general public in formulating and conducting the study required by subsection (a). (c) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of the Treasury for fiscal year 2004, such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. (d) REPORT REQUIRED- Before the end of the 180-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress containing the findings and conclusions of the study required under subsection (a), together with such recommendations for legislative or administrative actions as may be appropriate.

TITLE II–IMPROVEMENTS IN USE OF AND CONSUMER ACCESS TO CREDIT INFORMATION

Sec. 211. Free consumer reports. Sec. 212. Disclosure of credit scores. Sec. 213. Enhanced disclosure of the means available to opt out of prescreened lists. Sec. 214. Affiliate sharing. Sec. 215. Study of effects of credit scores and credit-based insurance scores on availability and affordability of financial products. Sec. 216. Disposal of consumer report information and records. Sec. 217. Requirement to disclose communications to a consumer reporting agency.

SEC. 211. FREE CONSUMER REPORTS.

(a) IN GENERAL- Section 612 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681j) is amended– (1) by redesignating subsection (a) as subsection (f), and transferring it to the end of the section; (2) by inserting before subsection (b) the following: (a) FREE ANNUAL DISCLOSURE- (1) NATIONWIDE CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES- (A) IN GENERAL- All consumer reporting agencies described in subsections (p) and (w) of section 603 shall make all disclosures pursuant to section 609 once during any 12-month period upon request of the consumer and without charge to the consumer. (B) CENTRALIZED SOURCE- Subparagraph (A) shall apply with respect to a consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p) only if the request from the consumer is made using the centralized source established for such purpose in accordance with section 211(c) of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. (C) NATIONWIDE SPECIALTY CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCY- (i) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall prescribe regulations applicable to each consumer reporting agency described in section 603(w) to require the establishment of a streamlined process for consumers to request consumer reports under subparagraph (A), which shall include, at a minimum, the establishment by each such agency of a toll-free telephone number for such requests. (ii) CONSIDERATIONS- In prescribing regulations under clause (i), the Commission shall consider– (I) the significant demands that may be placed on consumer reporting agencies in providing such consumer reports; (II) appropriate means to ensure that consumer reporting agencies can satisfactorily meet those demands, including the efficacy of a system of staggering the availability to consumers of such consumer reports; and (III) the ease by which consumers should be able to contact consumer reporting agencies with respect to access to such consumer reports. (iii) DATE OF ISSUANCE- The Commission shall issue the regulations required by this subparagraph in final form not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. (iv) CONSIDERATION OF ABILITY TO COMPLY- The regulations of the Commission under this subparagraph shall establish an effective date by which each nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency (as defined in section 603(w)) shall be required to comply with subsection (a), which effective date– (I) shall be established after consideration of the ability of each nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency to comply with subsection (a); and (II) shall be not later than 6 months after the date on which such regulations are issued in final form (or such additional period not to exceed 3 months, as the Commission determines appropriate). (2) TIMING- A consumer reporting agency shall provide a consumer report under paragraph (1) not later than 15 days after the date on which the request is received under paragraph (1). (3) REINVESTIGATIONS- Notwithstanding the time periods specified in section 611(a)(1), a reinvestigation under that section by a consumer reporting agency upon a request of a consumer that is made after receiving a consumer report under this subsection shall be completed not later than 45 days after the date on which the request is received. (4) EXCEPTION FOR FIRST 12 MONTHS OF OPERATION- This subsection shall not apply to a consumer reporting agency that has not been furnishing consumer reports to third parties on a continuing basis during the 12-month period preceding a request under paragraph (1), with respect to consumers residing nationwide.’; (3) by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (e); (4) by inserting before subsection (e), as redesignated, the following: (d) FREE DISCLOSURES IN CONNECTION WITH FRAUD ALERTS- Upon the request of a consumer, a consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p) shall make all disclosures pursuant to section 609 without charge to the consumer, as provided in subsections (a)(2) and (b)(2) of section 605A, as applicable.’; (5) in subsection (e), as redesignated, by striking `subsection (a)’ and inserting `subsection (f)’; and (6) in subsection (f), as redesignated, by striking `Except as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (d), a’ and inserting `In the case of a request from a consumer other than a request that is covered by any of subsections (a) through (d), a’. (b) CIRCUMVENTION PROHIBITED- The Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) is amended by adding after section 628, as added by section 216 of this Act, the following new section: Sec. 629. Corporate and technological circumvention prohibited The Commission shall prescribe regulations, to become effective not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this section, to prevent a consumer reporting agency from circumventing or evading treatment as a consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p) for purposes of this title, including– (1) by means of a corporate reorganization or restructuring, including a merger, acquisition, dissolution, divestiture, or asset sale of a consumer reporting agency; or (2) by maintaining or merging public record and credit account information in a manner that is substantially equivalent to that described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 603(p), in the manner described in section 603(p).’. (c) SUMMARY OF RIGHTS TO OBTAIN AND DISPUTE INFORMATION IN CONSUMER REPORTS AND TO OBTAIN CREDIT SCORES- Section 609(c) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681g) is amended to read as follows: (c) SUMMARY OF RIGHTS TO OBTAIN AND DISPUTE INFORMATION IN CONSUMER REPORTS AND TO OBTAIN CREDIT SCORES- (1) COMMISSION SUMMARY OF RIGHTS REQUIRED- (A) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall prepare a model summary of the rights of consumers under this title. (B) CONTENT OF SUMMARY- The summary of rights prepared under subparagraph (A) shall include a description of– (i) the right of a consumer to obtain a copy of a consumer report under subsection (a) from each consumer reporting agency; (ii) the frequency and circumstances under which a consumer is entitled to receive a consumer report without charge under section 612; (iii) the right of a consumer to dispute information in the file of the consumer under section 611; (iv) the right of a consumer to obtain a credit score from a consumer reporting agency, and a description of how to obtain a credit score; (v) the method by which a consumer can contact, and obtain a consumer report from, a consumer reporting agency without charge, as provided in the regulations of the Commission prescribed under section 211(c) of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003; and (vi) the method by which a consumer can contact, and obtain a consumer report from, a consumer reporting agency described in section 603(w), as provided in the regulations of the Co

TITLE III–ENHANCING THE ACCURACY OF CONSUMER REPORT INFORMATION

Sec. 311. Risk-based pricing notice. Sec. 312. Procedures to enhance the accuracy and integrity of information furnished to consumer reporting agencies. Sec. 313. FTC and consumer reporting agency action concerning complaints. Sec. 314. Improved disclosure of the results of reinvestigation. Sec. 315. Reconciling addresses. Sec. 316. Notice of dispute through reseller. Sec. 317. Reasonable reinvestigation required. Sec. 318. FTC study of issues relating to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Sec. 319. FTC study of the accuracy of consumer reports.

TITLE IV–LIMITING THE USE AND SHARING OF MEDICAL INFORMATION IN THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Sec. 411. Protection of medical information in the financial system. Sec. 412. Confidentiality of medical contact information in consumer reports.

TITLE V–FINANCIAL LITERACY AND EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT

Sec. 511. Short title. Sec. 512. Definitions. Sec. 513. Establishment of Financial Literacy and Education Commission. Sec. 514. Duties of the Commission. Sec. 515. Powers of the Commission. Sec. 516. Commission personnel matters. Sec. 517. Studies by the Comptroller General. Sec. 518. The national public service multimedia campaign to enhance the state of financial literacy. Sec. 519. Authorization of appropriations.

TITLE VI–PROTECTING EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS

Sec. 611. Certain employee investigation communications excluded from definition of consumer report.

TITLE VII–RELATION TO STATE LAWS

Sec. 711. Relation to State laws.

TITLE VIII–MISCELLANEOUS

Sec. 811. Clerical amendments. SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS. As used in this Act– (1) the term `Board’ means the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; (2) the term `Commission’, other than as used in title V, means the Federal Trade Commission; (3) the terms `consumer’, `consumer report’, `consumer reporting agency’, `creditor’, `Federal banking agencies’, and `financial institution’ have the same meanings as in section 603 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as amended by this Act; and (4) the term `affiliates’ means persons that are related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control. SEC. 3. EFFECTIVE DATES. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Act and the amendments made by this Act– (1) before the end of the 2-month period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Board and the Commission shall jointly prescribe regulations in final form establishing effective dates for each provision of this Act; and (2) the regulations prescribed under paragraph (1) shall establish effective dates that are as early as possible, while allowing a reasonable time for the implementation of the provisions of this Act, but in no case shall any such effective date be later than 10 months after the date of issuance of such regulations in final form.