State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. today announced a new state law that will require businesses that offer document destruction services to register with the New York Department of State. The new law, which was recently signed by the Governor, will give consumers an extra layer of protection against identity thieves who commonly sort through trash to gain sensitive personal information such as Social Security numbers and other identifying data to commit I.D. theft.
Senator Fuschillo (R-Merrick), Chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, said, "Identity thieves commonly ‘dumpster dive’ to obtain sensitive personal information, sorting through trash at homes and businesses to get their hands on Social Security numbers, financial account numbers and other personally identifiable information they can use to commit identity theft. This new law will help ensure that the companies that offer document destruction services are indeed destroying this sensitive information and keeping the data out of the hands of identity thieves."
The new law (S. 3854B) establishes a registration process for businesses that offer document destruction services to ensure that they are qualified and reputable and that sensitive information is disposed of properly. The Department of State is required to maintain and publish a registry of all registered document contractors in the state, and any contractor who fails to register will face a civil penalty of $1,000 enforced by the State Attorney General.
Last year, Senator Fuschillo authored a law that requires New York businesses that discard records containing consumers’ personal information to shred or destroy those records before putting them in the trash. Many businesses comply with that law by hiring a document destruction contractor to dispose of sensitive materials. The new law that Senator Fuschillo is announcing today expands upon the 2006 law and provides additional protection for consumers.
The new law takes effect on January 29, 2008.
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