Sen. Adam Morfeld

LINCOLN - A bill attempting to increase the protections for Nebraska consumers against identity theft during widespread data breaches has passed the legislature and awaits the governor’s signature.

State Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln took action in wake of the Equifax data breach, which exposed personal financial information of more than 145 million Americans, including approximately 700,000 Nebraskans.

“A third of Nebraskan’s data was stolen and the only comfort that we have right now after this is that there’s so much data that was stolen that it’s hard for them to steal all of our identities at once,” Morfeld tells Nebraska Radio Network.

The breach left Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers exposed.

Legislative Bill 757 would prevent credit reporting agencies from charging fees to consumers wanting to place a security freeze on their data or to have one lifted. It would require the agencies to heighten their security standards. If consumer reporting agencies pass personal information on to a third party, that party would also have to increase its security measures to keep the financial data secure. It also would give additional powers to the Attorney General’s office to protect consumers against identity theft.