Legislature(2005 - 2006)BELTZ 211
02/14/2006 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE
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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 222-PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION CHAIR BUNDE announced SB 222 to be up for consideration and then noted he would set it aside to wait for the bill's sponsor. SB 222-PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION CHAIR CON BUNDE announced SB 222 to be back up for consideration. SENATOR RALPH SEEKINS moved to adopt CS SB 222(L&C), version F. SENATOR JOHNNY ELLIS objected for discussion purposes. MR. WAYNE LEIGHTY, staff to Senator Therriault, co-sponsor of SB 222, testified that the first change adds law enforcement agencies to Alaska's Department of Public Safety that is authorized to put a temporary hold on a "Notice of Breach of Security" while an investigation is performed. Item two conforms language to current California law regarding how documents with social security numbers on them are mailed. Item three allows for situations when collection or submission of a social security number is under state or federal law. Item four adds language to the social security number section to clarify that a business can require other forms of identification to verify the identity of a person they are doing business with. Item five, Article 8, is a new section and requires truncation of a credit card number on all printed receipts. Under the general provisions in Article 9 "or conflicts" is deleted and states that federal law is preemptive. He said they continue to work with the stakeholders SENATOR ELLIS removed his objection and version F was adopted. 2:00:35 PM SENATOR BUNDE asked if a driver's license could still be used. MR. DAVE STANCLIFF, staff to Senator Therriault, co-sponsor of SB 222, replied yes, but added that industry is finding other ways to verify identifications, which would give those companies the competitive edge. 2:02:57 PM SENATOR SEEKINS said he wouldn't support this bill unless the state was held to the same accountability standard as private industry. MR. LEIGHTY informed the committee that it is possible for individuals to get credit reports and background checks completed without using social security numbers now. CHAIR BUNDE said the state is issuing I.D.s without social security numbers. 2:05:34 PM SENATOR SEEKINS said he thought this bill would change the way he analyzes credit in his automobile dealership. But customers should still know that their information must be accurate with the understanding that if it isn't accurate, it constitutes fraud and has a penalty that goes with it. STEVE CLEARY, Alaska Public Interest Research Group (AKPIRG), supported SB 222. He said that the Choice Point Incorporated Company leaked a lot of personal information that exposed consumers to identify theft about a year ago. Since that time more than 52 million people have been put in danger of identify theft because of security breaches. Alaska topped the nation in fraud complaints last year with 249 per 100,000 persons according to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report that also states that identify theft has topped the list of nationwide complaints for the sixth year in a row. The average consumer spends about 175 hours of their own time clearing their name after an identity theft. MR. CLEARY said the two most important measures in SB 222 mandate that consumers be notified after a security breach, which would allow them to freeze their credit reports. This would at the very least minimize or even eliminate the danger of identity theft. Twenty-seven states have filed security freeze bills and 12 states have these laws now. 2:13:19 PM SENATOR SEEKINS asked if the biggest threat is being able to access someone's credit report, people leave their personal information in many places during the course of a day. He related that for him to rent a car in Orlando, he had to show his driver's license that has his social security number, address and name on it. "With those three things, you can really get into someone's - you can steal their identity." 2:18:23 PM SENATOR THERRIAULT agreed that it gets easier every day to access people's information and lawmakers must try to keep up with the new ways. 2:20:46 PM SENATOR BEN STEVENS agreed with Senator Seekins that public entities have to be held accountable the same as private ones. He related how he banks, invests and pays everything online and he went through an exercise to see how easy it would be to steal his identity and he easily accessed his personal information from a Virginia county tax roll, a Mat-Su borough tax roll, the Anchorage municipality tax roll and on the state web page for the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. So, where he actively transacts in money, he couldn't get it, but in all the places he did find it, it was related to a government entity. 2:22:28 PM SENATOR ELLIS agreed that government must be held to high standards. He asked if the administration had indicated it was heading in that direction. SENATOR GUESS also agreed that the government has to be held to the same standard as private industry and stated that she had received a three-page letter from the Attorney General's Office saying that, while the state might have instances when it needs to get a social security number, there are many instances in which it gathers social security numbers without a legal reason. She said, "We're trying to parse through those right now." Other issues have arisen such as if the state should be open to civil suits or whether it should be held to the same standard in all instances. She said: It is our belief that we shouldn't differentiate between business and government. It's people who have our personal information and those will be the discussions that we're going to have in Senate Judiciary. 2:24:46 PM SENATOR SEEKINS moved to report CSSB 222(L&C), version F, from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note. Senators Ellis, Seekins, Ben Stevens, Davis, and Chair Bunde voted yea; and it was so ordered.