It could soon be harder for people to steal the identities of dead people.
The budget deal reached by the House and Senate this week includes a measure to restrict access to a database containing the personal information of deceased people.
The database, known as the "death master file", includes information such as names, social security numbers and birth dates.
It was created to help businesses prevent identity theft, but critics say the file has also made it easier for identity thieves to steal a dead person's information to take out lines of credit or claim fraudulent tax returns.
Under the new budget proposal, any information about a deceased person would not be available to the public for three years after the person's death.
Exceptions would be made for certain businesses, such as fraud prevention companies as long as they get certified under a new program.
The House is expected to vote as soon as today on the new budget deal.
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