June 2003:
PRC's Privacy Update Newsletter

Send to PrinterSend to Printer

Copyright © 2003-2015
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Posted June 24, 2003


In this issue . . .

[1] California’s SB 1 Legislation Falls Short of Votes in Assembly Banking and Finance Committee—What to Do Now

[2] California Laws that Come into Effect July 1, 2003
--Security Breach Notification
--Monthly Credit Reports for Victims of Identity Theft
--Protecting Birth and Death Records

[3] I-SAFE—“Privacy and the Internet” Teaching Tool and Web Cast Featuring PRC Director Beth Givens

[1] California’s SB 1 Legislation Falls Short of Votes in Assembly Banking and Finance Committee—What to Do Now.

On Tuesday, June 17th, SB 1 California’s Financial Privacy Legislation received only three votes in favor from the twelve-member Assembly Banking and Finance Committee. This is in stark contrast to California consumer surveys and polls. One recent survey performed by the Consumer Federation of California (http://www.consumerfedofca.org) shows that 91% of Californians believe a financial institution should havepermission to sell personal information like account balances, income, medical information and more. Now that lawmakers have failed to act, efforts are heating up to get enough signatures for the Consumer Financial Privacy ballot initiative to be placed on the March, 2004 California ballot.

If you are registered to vote in California and would like to sign the ballot initiative, go to Sign the Petition at the following link: http://www.californiaprivacy.org

[2] California Laws that Come into Effect July 1, 2003

--Security Breach Notification
(California Civil Code Sections 1798.29 and 1798.82)
State government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and companies doing business in California must notify California customers about unauthorized access to personal information maintained in computerized data files. If California consumers’ names are accessed, along with one or more of the following—Social Security number, driver's license number, account number, credit or debit card number, or password for accessing their financial account—they must be notified. PRC Director Beth Givens believes that the stigma of bad publicity resulting from an acknowledged breach creates an incentive to strengthen data security.

--Monthly Credit Reports for Victims of Identity Theft
(California Civil Code Sections 1785.15 and 1785.15.3)
Now, California victims of identity theft can get a free copy of their credit report from each of the three credit bureaus once a month for a twelve-month period. Monthly monitoring allows victims to spot new fraudulent accounts and to act quickly to stop unauthorized charges before an account is sent to collections. It also enables individuals to determine if the fraud alerts they established when they first learned they were victims are being honored by credit issuers. Thus, victims can be assured that the fraud alert is doing what it is intended to do — to stop new credit from being issued to the imposter.

To get a free copy of their credit report every month for one year, identity theft victims first need to put a fraud alert on their account with the credit reporting bureaus. Currently, a consumer can contact just one bureau, which will notify the other two. When they receive the free copy of their credit report, they will be provided with a contact number to the agency’s fraud department in order to submit a copy of their police report, a stipulation for receiving the twelve free copies of their credit report. Consumers would then contact the fraud departments once a month to receive their credit report for the twelve-month period.

-- Safeguards on California Birth and Death Certificates to Deter Fraud
(California Health and Safety Code Sections 102230, 102231 and 102232)
California is one of the few remaining “open records” states, enabling identity thieves and other fraudsters to obtain anyone’s birth certificate. They can then use it as a “breeder” document to obtain other forms of identification such as a driver’s license. Recognizing the need to protect vital records, the California legislature passed laws, effective in 2003, to prevent unauthorized access to birth and death information. County Recorders are now prohibited from displaying the mother's maiden name and Social Security number on certain requests for records and from displaying vital records on the Internet. The sale of birth and death certificates is also restricted. Now, requesters of birth or death record records must provide proof of identity and sign a form stating the proposed use of the record, assuring the record will not be used for fraudulent purposes. Informational copies of records may be printed on different paper and will be stamped to indicate they are not an official copy and cannot be used to establish identity.

[3] I-SAFE—“Privacy and the Internet” Teaching Tool and Web Cast Featuring PRC Director Beth Givens

I-SAFE, the Internet Safety Education Foundation (http://www.i-safe.org), Recently posted an online video tutorial entitled “Privacy and the Internet.” It teaches teens how to safely surf the Internet and to exercise caution before disclosing personal information. Tips for teens about how to reduce one’s vulnerability to identity theft are also part of this tutorial.

The streaming video web cast includes an interview with PRC Director Beth Givens, designed to raise students awareness of privacy on the Internet. “The primary objective of this lesson is to educate and empower students to protect personal information while online, avoid the risks to their privacy and safety, and employ techniques to decrease the chance that they will be victimized online.” The web cast requires Real Player and includes course work to be used in a high school setting in conjunction with the web cast as a teaching aid. To see the course work and the web cast, go to:
The video web cast is viewable at bullet point 3 under “Body.”


To subscribe to our free email newsletter, go to www.privacyrights.org/subscribe.htm

Copyright © Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. This copyrighted document may be copied and distributed for nonprofit, educational purposes only. For distribution, see our copyright and reprint guidelines. The text of this document may not be altered without express authorization of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.


Sign In!