Legislature(2005 - 2006)BELTZ 211

04/14/2005 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 108(L&C) Out of Committee
Moved SB 157 Out of Committee
           SB 149-PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION                                                                        
CHAIR CON BUNDE announced SB 149 to be up for consideration.                                                                    
SENATOR  GRETCHEN  GUESS, sponsor  of  SB  149, said  her  office                                                               
conducted  a study  of  how easy  it is  to  get social  security                                                               
numbers  and other  information -  enough to  apply for  a credit                                                               
card - and it only took a couple of hours.                                                                                      
2:01:42 PM                                                                                                                    
She said this is her attempt  at a comprehensive approach to fill                                                               
in the  gaps the federal  government said  the state was  to deal                                                               
with at the state level.                                                                                                        
The bill  has several  provisions and  the first  article regards                                                               
breach of  security information. She  said that you have  to tell                                                               
people  if  you may  have  disclosed  their personal,  non-public                                                               
information and it also sets forth how to do that.                                                                              
The  second  section  is  the  consumer  report  security  freeze                                                               
section and  allows someone to put  a freeze on his  own customer                                                               
report. It could be unfrozen when  needed either on a one-time or                                                               
an on-going basis. Section 3  concerns access to consumer reports                                                               
and how  much can  be charged for  them. The  federal legislation                                                               
allows one free report a year.                                                                                                  
Section  4 concerns  protection of  social security  numbers. The                                                               
next  section concerns  disposal of  records to  protect personal                                                               
information   given  to   employers.  The   next  section   is  a                                                               
declaration of  innocence. It allows a  means to go to  court and                                                               
say  you  are not  the  one  who  committed  the crime  that  was                                                               
perpetrated in your  name. It also allows a way  for the court to                                                               
say, 'No, you were lying; it really was you.'                                                                                   
SENATOR  GUESS said  the next  section deals  with credit  header                                                               
information, which is often sold  by credit reporting agencies to                                                               
people  who  mass-market.  It   often  contains  social  security                                                               
numbers, mother's maiden  name, birth date, et  cetera. She said,                                                               
"You can't sell that anymore."                                                                                                  
The last  section is the  right to file  a police report  in your                                                               
own jurisdiction  to trigger an  investigation even if  the theft                                                               
didn't happen in your jurisdiction.                                                                                             
     This is important because  often times, especially with                                                                    
     the federal  law, you need  a police report  before you                                                                    
     can   trigger   some   provisions  that   the   federal                                                                    
     government has provided to us.  We have talked with APD                                                                    
     and DPS;  they don't  seem to have  a problem  with it.                                                                    
     It's a  citizen's report and there's  provision in here                                                                    
     that it doesn't go into their open cases.                                                                                  
2:06:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BUNDE wondered  if this is too little and  too late to make                                                               
a difference.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR GUESS  replied yes and no.  Over time it would  make data                                                               
more  difficult  to access  and  it  will  stop the  practice  of                                                               
selling social security numbers.                                                                                                
2:09:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BUNDE asked if the security  freeze would be similar to opt                                                               
out  provisions. "Is  everyone automatically  opted out  or would                                                               
you have to request an opt out?"                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  replied that it  would be a conscious  decision to                                                               
opt out.                                                                                                                        
CHAIR BUNDE asked if she had seen a letter from Choice Point.                                                                   
SENATOR GUESS replied no.                                                                                                       
CHAIR  BUNDE asked  Senator Guess  to respond  to that  letter in                                                               
writing and she agreed to do that.                                                                                              
He  said  there was  another  similar  bill  and asked  what  the                                                               
difference is from SB 149 and could they possibly be joined.                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS  responded that SB  148 and  SB 149 are  similar in                                                               
intent,  but they  were  modeled after  two  different pieces  of                                                               
legislation. She said  that she would work with  Senator Ellis to                                                               
see what could be done.                                                                                                         
SAM TRIVETTE,  Capital City Task  Force, strongly  supported both                                                               
2:14:53 PM                                                                                                                    
RITA  HATCH, Older  Persons Action  Group, said  seniors are  the                                                               
most  vulnerable   because  they  don't  understand   that  their                                                               
identity can be stolen. She supported SB 149.                                                                                   
2:15:52 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVE   CLEARY,  Executive   Director,  Alaska   Public  Interest                                                               
Research  Group (AKPIRG),  supported  SB 148  and  SB 149.  These                                                               
incidents  keep happening;  he just  heard yesterday  how 187,000                                                               
consumers who are GM Master Card holders                                                                                        
 have had their information compromised.                                                                                        
CHAIR BUNDE asked how this related to federal legislation.                                                                      
SENATOR GUESS  said the  federal government  passed comprehensive                                                               
legislation and she feels comfortable with the state provisions.                                                                
2:20:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELLIS said  the California Choice Point  law affected 251                                                               
Alaskans  in  a negative  way  and  nothing  in the  federal  act                                                               
protected them. He thought state  laws could help in Alaska where                                                               
there are some unique situations.                                                                                               
SENATOR  RALPH   SEEKINS  explained  that  Seekins   Ford  credit                                                               
information is sent to a data  bank that is outside of Alaska and                                                               
asked how the security section in article 2 would affect that.                                                                  
SENATOR GUESS replied if an  outside business has enough commerce                                                               
in Alaska,  it can be  affected by state  law. Before or  after a                                                               
client went  in to Seekins  Ford, he  would have to  unfreeze his                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS asked what right the  State of Alaska has to tell                                                               
an  out-of-state  company to  freeze  information  on an  Alaskan                                                               
resident.  He  warned that  there  would  be opposition  to  this                                                               
section, because  60 percent of people  buy cars in the  first 24                                                               
hours and their information needs to be available.                                                                              
TERRY  BANNISTER, Legislative  Legal Services,  said there  is no                                                               
bright  line on  how  state laws  affect out-of-state  businesses                                                               
operating  here and  it depends  on  court interpretation.  State                                                               
laws  are  designed to  extend  as  far  as possible  under  both                                                               
federal  and state  constitutions.  Companies  that have  minimal                                                               
contact  here are  subject to  Alaskan law  and, "We  can enforce                                                               
it." She  said the  issue is becoming  more prevalent  because of                                                               
the Internet and how everything is becoming more interrelated.                                                                  
2:31:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS related  that she read the Choice  Point letter and                                                               
it  makes two  points.  One  is to  make  the  security freeze  a                                                               
consumer  choice and  she  said  its okay  with  her  to make  it                                                               
"immediate" on either side.                                                                                                     
The other issue is that customer  reports need to be accessed for                                                               
underwriting and  pages 9 and 10  say that one of  the exemptions                                                               
is for a  financial contractual relationship or  someone you owe.                                                               
In response  to that, she said  she would check with  Ms. Hall on                                                               
why any insurance company should  be able to get customer reports                                                               
for their underwriting.                                                                                                         
CHAIR BUNDE said he would hold this bill.                                                                                       

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