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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR- 196-05
May 19, 2005

MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION PROTECTING NEW YORKERS FROM IDENTITY THEFT

Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

"The next three bills before me, Introductory numbers 139-A, 140-A and 141-A, address the problem of identity theft. Identity theft has become the most common fraud related complaint filed with the federal government. These three bills will assist victims of identity theft when their personal information has been breached.

"Intro 139-A is sponsored by Council Members Reed, Boyland, Brewer, Gerson, Gioia, Jackson, James, Nelson, Quinn, Addabbo, Liu, Gentile, Gennaro, Koppell, Weprin and Public Advocate Gotbaum.  Intro 139-A increases the license revocation and denial authority of the Department of Consumer Affairs ("DCA") with businesses that are convicted of identity theft.  The bill also mandates that any business required to be licensed by DCA, immediately inform the department upon notification of a potential breach of someone's identifying information.

"Introductory number 140-A is sponsored by Council Members Reed, Brewer, Gerson, Gioia, James, Nelson, Quinn, Addabbo, Liu, Gentile, Nelson, Koppell, Monserrate, Weprin and Public Advocate Gotbaum.  Intro. 140-A requires City agencies that own or lease data containing personal identifying information to immediately notify the police department if any individual's personal identifying information is believed to have been acquired by an unauthorized person. After notifying the Police Department, those agencies would be required to notify the individual whose information may have been stolen.  Instituting this notification measure will better enable victims to regain control of their finances and minimize any potential harm their credit file.   

"Introductory number 141-A is sponsored by Council Members Reed, Brewer, Gentile, Gioia, Monserrate, Nelson, Moskowitz, Addabbo and Liu. Int. 141-A would require all businesses licensed by DCA, to inform the Police Department, the Department of Consumer Affairs and the owner, lessor or licensor of the data whenever there has been a breach of personal identifying information.  In addition, the bill mandates that any person required to be licensed by DCA or subject to DCA enforcement must discard records of individual personal identifying information in a manner that would prevent retrieval of the information.

"I would like to thank the Department of Consumer Affairs for their continued work toward ensuring that consumers are adequately protected against deceptive and fraudulent practices. I also want to acknowledge the Council for their continued dedication toward ensuring that consumers are well informed and receive the greatest protections available to keep their personal information safe."







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Jordan Barowitz / Paul Elliott   (212) 788-2958




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