Identity Theft Protections for Minors Signals New Area of Privacy Obligations for Companies

Identity theft protection isn’t just for adults anymore. As stories of data breaches and identity theft have become part of the daily news cycle, a recent law enacted by Congress provides increased protection to minors from such attacks. Under Pub. L. 115-175, better known as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the Act), parents and legal guardians now have the ability to implement free credit freezes for children under 16. The Act amends Section 605A of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). While the law also provides similar protections for adults, the new safeguards afforded to children are indicative of an increased focus on protecting the personal data of minors. As more states begin to pass their own data protection laws, it is a near certainty that all businesses will need to examine their privacy and security protocols in order to ensure compliance with new protections afforded to children.