1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. General Business
  4. Article 25: Fair Credit Reporting Act


Section 380-A Definitions

General Business (GBS)

As used in this article:

  (a) The term "person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, co-operative, association, government or governmental subdivision, agency or other entity.

  (b) The term "consumer" means an individual.

  (c) (1) The term "consumer report" means any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer's eligibility for (i) credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, (ii) employment purposes, or (iii) other purposes authorized under section three hundred eighty-b of this article.

  (2) The term "consumer report" does not include (i) any report containing information solely as to transactions or experiences between the consumer and the person making the report, (ii) any authorization or approval of a specific extension of credit directly or indirectly by the issuer of a credit card or similar device, or (iii) any report in which a person who has been requested by a third party to make a specific extension of credit directly or indirectly to a consumer conveys his decision with respect to such request, if the third party advises the consumer of the name and address of the person to whom the request was made and such person makes the disclosures to the consumer required under section three hundred eighty-i of this article.

  (d) The term "investigative consumer report" means a consumer report or portion thereof in which information on a consumer's character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, or associates of the consumer reported on or with others with whom he is acquainted or who may have knowledge concerning any such items of information. However, such information shall not include specific factual information on a consumer's credit record obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from a consumer reporting agency when such information was obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from the consumer.

  (e) The term "consumer reporting agency" means any person who, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports or investigative consumer reports to third parties.

  (f) The term "file" when used in connection with information on any consumer, means all of the information on that consumer recorded and retained by a consumer reporting agency regardless of how the information is stored.

  (g) The term "employment purposes" when used in connection with a consumer report means a report used for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee.

  (h) The term "adverse information" means information that is likely to have a negative effect upon the ability or eligibility of a consumer to obtain credit, insurance, employment, or other benefits, goods or services or information that is either wholly or partially responsible for increases in charges for credit or insurance.

  (i) The term "user" when discussed in connection with the use of a consumer report means any person receiving or requesting a consumer report or an investigative consumer report other than the subject thereof.

  (j) The term "medical information" means information or records obtained, with the consent of the individual to whom it relates, from licensed physicians or medical practitioners, hospitals, clinics, or other medical or medically related facilities.

  (k) The term "consumer credit reporting agency" means a consumer reporting agency that regularly engages in the practice of assembling or evaluating and maintaining, for the purpose of furnishing consumer credit reports to third parties bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity, public record information and credit account information from persons who furnish that information regularly and in the ordinary course of business.

  (l) The term "consumer credit report" means a consumer report assembled, evaluated or maintained by a consumer credit reporting agency, bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity.

  (m) The term "security freeze" or "freeze" means a notice placed in the consumer credit report of or relating to a consumer, at the request of such consumer and subject to certain exceptions, that prohibits the consumer credit reporting agency from releasing the consumer credit report, the contents of such report or the credit score of such consumer.

  (n) The term "proper identification" means information generally deemed sufficient to identify a person.

  (o) The term "protected consumer" means an individual who is under the age of sixteen years at the time a request for the placement of a security freeze is made.

  (p) The term "record" means a compilation of information that (1) identifies a protected consumer; (2) is created by a consumer credit reporting agency solely for the purpose of complying with section three hundred eighty-u of this article; and (3) may not be created or used to consider the protected consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living for any purpose listed in this article.

  (q) The term "representative" means a person who provides to a consumer credit reporting agency sufficient proof of authority to act on behalf of a protected consumer.

  (r) The term "security freeze for a protected consumer" means (1) if a consumer credit reporting agency does not have a file pertaining to a protected consumer, a restriction that: (i) is placed on the protected consumer's record in accordance with section three hundred eighty-u of this article; and (ii) prohibits the consumer credit reporting agency from releasing the protected consumer's record except as provided in this section; or

  (2) if a consumer credit reporting agency has a file pertaining to the protected consumer, a restriction that (i) is placed on the protected consumer's consumer credit report in accordance with this section; and (ii) prohibits the consumer credit reporting agency from releasing the protected consumer's consumer credit report or any information derived from the protected consumer's consumer credit report except as provided in this section.

  (s) The term "sufficient proof of authority" means documentation that shows a representative has authority to act on behalf of a protected consumer. "Sufficient proof of authority" shall include, but not be limited to, (1) an order issued by a court of law; or (2) a written, notarized statement signed by a representative that expressly describes the authority of the representative to act on behalf of a protected consumer.

  (t) The term "sufficient proof of identification" means information or documentation that identifies a protected consumer or a representative of a protected consumer. "Sufficient proof of identification" shall include, but not be limited to, (1) a social security number or a copy of a social security card issued by the social security administration; (2) a certified or official copy of a birth certificate; or (3) a copy of a driver's license, an identification card issued by the department of motor vehicles, or any other government-issued photo identification.

  (u) The term "members of a consumer's social network" means a group of individuals authorized by a consumer to be part of his or her social media communications and network.