KNAU and Arizona News
Thu December 8, 2005
AZ lawmakers crackdown on identity theft
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix – One bill introduced for the upcoming session would require companies to shred or otherwise erase personal data on documents and electronic files before they throw them out. State Sen. Marilyn Jarrett said its a
simple matter of businesses protecting their customers and clients from having their identity stolen.
(One of the biggest problems, and where people have such good luck with identity theft, if it was just you or me working for that kind of thing, we could go to the Dumpsters and we can pull out all this information and just gets skads of information, the full credit card number and this type of thing.)
Jarrett said some merchants use a system that prints only the last few numbers of a customer's credit card on receipts. But many companies still put the entire card number -- and the expiration date -- on slips -- slips that eventually would wind up in the trash where thieves could use the information to buy things. A different bill would requires businesses that have a breach of security to notify not only law enforcement but also customers whose records may have been stolen. Companies that ignore the law could have to pay a fine of up to $500 for each individual who did not get proper notification, up to
$250,000 per incident. Farrell Quinlan, spokesman for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said companies are willing to accept appropriate safeguards
on confidential data. But he said these cannot place what he called an undue burden on the business community. In Phoenix, for Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.