The New York State Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. that would require businesses that offer document destruction services to register with the New York Department of State. The measure would 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 measure would 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 legislation (S. 3854A) would establish 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 would be required to maintain and publish a registry of all registered document contractors in the state and the legislation also sets a civil penalty of $1,000 for document destruction contractors that operate without being registered.
Last year, Senator Fuschillo sponsored a new 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 legislation approved by the Senate today would expand upon that law and provide additional protection for consumers.
The legislation was sent to the Assembly.
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