2005-06-24 / Front Page

Pheffer Trumpets ID Protection Bill

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer said she is pleased to announce that the Legislature has passed a bill that will require companies and state agencies to notify New York consumers if their personal financial information has been compromised (A.4254-A/S.3492-A).

“This legislation is important so that consumers are aware of security breaches that may affect their personal information. Consumers will now be able to take proactive measures to protect their identity as well as their credit,” said Pheffer.

With the use of the Internet for banking and consumer purchases, hackers pose an increasing threat to the safety of private information. Also, there have been numerous data-security failures involving companies like LexisNexis, Bank of America, Wachovia, ChoicePoint and, most recently, CitiFinancial – which lost information on 3.9 million customers including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, account numbers, and payment histories of loans.

This legislation would mandate persons or companies doing business in New York, as well as state agencies, to disclose any security breach of private information – including Social Security numbers, driver license numbers, and credit card numbers – to affected New York State residents.

“Not only does this bill require companies to be more responsible with their information, it also gives New York residents the awareness they need to monitor their accounts so that they can take immediate steps to safeguard themselves from becoming a victim of identity theft,” said Pheffer.

The legislation has been passed by both the Assembly and the Senate and is expected to be signed by the Governor.

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