Action being taken on identity theft
(Original publication: January 8, 2006)
As an 11-year veteran of the state Legislature who has worked tirelessly to advance consumers' rights and the ranking member of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, I read with great interest your Jan. 2 editorial, "Action needed on identity theft."
While I applaud New Jersey's passage of identity-theft legislation, I disagree with your assertion that New York has done nothing to protect its own residents against this growing crime. New York's Security Breach Notification Act, which I first introduced in the Assembly in 2003 and proudly co-sponsored this year in the state Senate, was signed into law in August and went into effect a month ago. Like New Jersey's law, this measure requires businesses and government agencies that store personal and financial information about state residents to notify those individuals if the security of that information is compromised.
While we were not able to pass a credit security freeze bill this year, the legislature did convene a rare bipartisan joint hearing on the subject in November and I am optimistic that we will reach a consensus in 2006. I will also be holding local hearings in Westchester County on this issue in coming weeks.
New York has long been in the forefront of efforts to protect consumers — in 2000, I authored legislation creating what became the largest state Do Not Call registry in the nation — and I am confident that we will continue to lead the nation in consumer and identity theft protections in 2006. Senator Jeff Klein
Ranking Minority Member
Senate Consumer Protection Committee
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