Illinois governor signs bill responding to Equifax hack

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a measure that will prevent consumer reporting agencies from charging people for protecting their credit reports.

The governor signed the plan into law Friday. Companies can no longer charge consumers for placing or removing a freeze on their credit report accounts.

The move comes after the credit reporting agency Equifax announced a massive security breach compromised personal information including names, Social Security numbers, and addresses. The hack affected approximately 143 million U.S. residents.

Consumers complained they had to pay a $10 fee and faced other problems trying to protect their accounts.

The proposal also allows consumers to place freezes online or via telephone. Previously such action could only be taken through registered mail.

The measure is effective immediately.