Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, chairman of the state Senate's Consumer Protection Committee, today stated that Suffolk County officials should immediately shut down the portion of the Clerk’s website that is posting of over 7,000 personal Social Security numbers of Suffolk residents.
Senator Fuschillo, the author of numerous laws aimed at protecting New Yorkers' privacy and protecting consumers, said he would immediately draft new legislation to prevent such future postings and restrict the public release of Social Security numbers by a government agency.
In keeping with Senator Fuschillo’s law that requires corporations to notify customers of a potential breach of personal information, he said that Clerk’s office should take steps to notify those they feel may be potentially open to ID-theft problems.
"A Social Security number is the 'holy grail' that identity thieves use to create false personas, fraudulently obtain credit and take other steps that can cause financial nightmares for victims that can take months and years to repair," said Senator Fuschillo who was a victim of ID-theft himself.
"The fact that a government agency may be abetting identity thieves through public documents is inexcusable and demands both quick action to make sure it is stopped and accountability, to learn just how widespread the problem may be."
Senator Fuschillo urged citizens who may have had their identity compromised to closely scrutinize credit card and other bills and review their credit reports for suspicious activity. New Yorkers are eligible to receive a free copy of their credit reports once each year by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com .
Senator Fuschillo is a champion of laws to protect personal privacy, including the author of the successful "Do Not Call Registry" law and, more recently, a sweeping notification law that requires alerting consumers when their financial information is compromised.
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