ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION No. 190

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

212th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 1, 2006

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman JOHN F. MCKEON

District 27 (Essex)

Assemblywoman LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblywoman BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN

District 15 (Mercer)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Conners and Wisniewski

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Memorializes Congress and President to oppose “Financial Data Protection Act of 2005.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Assembly Resolution memorializing Congress and the President of the United States to oppose the “Financial Data Protection Act of 2005.”

 

Whereas, Over the last decade, new advances in technology and an increased demand for sensitive consumer data have combined to make identity theft a critical issue in the State of New Jersey and across the nation; and

Whereas, Despite a greater awareness of identity theft and a better understanding of how it occurs, it is estimated that 10 million Americans continue to fall victim to identity theft each year, costing consumers and businesses more than $55 billion per year; and

Whereas, In an attempt to stem the unprecedented number of identity theft crimes, and to respond to the demands from concerned consumers throughout the State, last year both Houses of the New Jersey Legislature voted unanimously to pass one of the nation’s most comprehensive and far-reaching pieces of identity theft legislation; and

Whereas, The “Identity Theft Prevention Act,” signed into law by Governor Richard J. Codey, provides strong and innovative protections for consumers by allowing victims of identity theft to obtain incident records from local law enforcement agencies, by providing residents with a means to place a “security freeze” on their credit reports, and by requiring businesses to disclose security breaches of consumers’ personal information; and

Whereas, Since its enactment, the law has not only safeguarded the rights and personal information of the residents of this State, but it has also improved upon the laws of other states and advanced the development of identity theft protections nationally; and

Whereas, Unfortunately, the steps that New Jersey and other states have taken to combat identity theft and protect financial privacy have been threatened by recent legislative action in Congress; and

Whereas, Currently, Congress is considering several bills that would dismantle New Jersey’s “Identity Theft Prevention Act,” and destroy other states’ identity theft laws, by superseding them with a series of weak federal provisions intended to place the interests of corporations above the rights of consumers; and

Whereas, In particular, the proposed “Financial Data Protection Act of 2005,” H.R. 3997, would undercut state protections by allowing companies to determine if security breaches are serious enough to notify customers, by stripping enforcement powers away from state attorney generals, and by restricting the right to place a “security freeze” on credit reports to consumers who have become victims of identity theft; and

Whereas, Superseding New Jersey’s law with ineffective federal provisions would allow companies to be less responsible with personal financial information, and place the residents of New Jersey at a greater risk of identity theft; now, therefore,

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1. The General Assembly of the State of New Jersey memorializes Congress and the President of the United States to oppose the “Financial Data Protection Act of 2005,” and any additional proposals which undercut the protections enacted by the State under the “Identity Theft Prevention Act.”

 

     2.  Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the Speaker of the General Assembly and attested by the Clerk thereof, shall be transmitted to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Majority and Minority leaders of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, each of the members of Congress elected from this State, and the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution memorializes Congress and the President of the United States to oppose the “Financial Data Protection Act of 2005,” and any additional legislative proposals which threaten to supersede the identity theft protections enacted by the State of New Jersey.  In response to the growing number of identity theft crimes that have occurred in this State, last year the Legislature unanimously passed one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching identity theft laws in the nation.  The “Identity Theft Prevention Act,” which took effect in January of 2006, provides protections for consumers by granting individuals the right to place a “security freeze” on their credit reports, by requiring businesses to notify consumers of security breaches to their financial information, and by allowing victims to file and obtain incident reports from local law enforcement agencies.

     Recently, the “Identity Theft Prevention Act” has become threatened by a number of legislative proposals introduced into Congress.  In an attempt to create a single, national identity theft law, members of Congress have introduced several bills which seek to replace various state laws with a series of weak federal provisions.  In particular the “Financial Data Protection Act,” H.R. 3997, would undercut state protections by allowing companies to determine if security breaches are serious enough to notify customers, by stripping enforcement powers away from state attorney generals, and by restricting the right to place a “security freeze” on credit reports to consumers who have become victims of identity theft.  Despite the benefits of uniformity, the proposed federal legislation would place the interests of corporations before the rights of consumers, and leave the residents of New Jersey at a greater risk of identity theft.