Nebraska personal information bill wins initial approval

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- A bill designed to protect consumers from identity theft has won first-round approval from Nebraska lawmakers.

Senators voted 34-0 on Thursday to advance the measure to the second of three required votes.

The proposal would prevent credit reporting companies from charging a fee to impose or lift a security freeze on a consumer's personal information. It also requires that companies maintain "reasonable security procedures and practices" to protect such information.

Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln says he introduced the bill in response to last year's security breach at Equifax, which exposed the personal information of 145.5 million Americans, including 700,000 Nebraska residents.

The information exposed included Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and in some cases driver's license numbers.