SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska




June 19, 2009

Long sought-after consumer protection legislation will take effect Thursday, July 1. The Alaska Personal Information Protection Act, passed by the 25th Alaska Legislature in April of 2008 and signed into law that June, offers Alaskans comprehensive protections and easy-to-understand steps to follow should their personal information be accidentally breached or stolen.

House Rules Committee Chair John Coghill, R-North Pole, wrote and sponsored the law along with Senator Gene Therriault, R-North Pole, and Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage, and worked closely with former Sen. Gretchen Guess, D-Anchorage, to gain passage over the past three-plus years.

"We tried for more than three years to find that balance between providing strong consumer protection measures while not constricting business and government transactions involving personal information," Coghill said. "We crafted clear rules and guidelines for all parties in the event of a breach or theft. Starting July 1 Alaskans will have cause for greater comfort that their social security numbers, lines of credit, credit scores, and other personal information is safe and well-protected."

"Our privacy is valuable, but it shouldn't be for sale," Gara said. "This bill protects Alaskans from identity theft and credit theft, and it strengthens our consumer protection laws."

"Protection of Alaskans' personal information has been a high priority for both me and Rep. Coghill," Therriault said. "The Federal Trade Commission reports that there were 490 reported cases of identity theft or fraud in Alaska in 2008, so I am very pleased that we will now have tools in place to help Alaskan's protect their own information. To continue work in the area of protecting Alaskans I have introduced legislation, Senate Bill 36, based on an Audit Report that I requested on the security of information in state government that will strengthen protection of citizens' personal and private information collected by the state and further safeguard that information from threats of identity theft."

Important provisions of the new law include:

Notification of Security Breaches. Requires businesses and government entities that collect your personal data, to notify you if your information is acquired without authorization and it is determined that identity theft may result.

Freeze Access To Your Credit Report. Enables you to choose to protect against identity theft by freezing access to your credit report.

Protecting Social Security Numbers. Limits businesses and government from intentionally communicating your Social Security Number unless authorized by local, state, or federal law.

Disposal of Records.
Business and government must take all reasonable measures to protect your personal information by developing policies and procedures for destruction of their records containing your personal information.

Factual Declaration of Innocence after ID Theft. Allows you as a victim of identity theft to petition the court and file a police report to declare your innocence. It allows the state to create a database of claims of identify theft and establish a toll-free phone number for reporting.

Credit Card Numbers.
Businesses and government may not print more than the last four digits of your credit card or the expiration date on receipts.



Source of News:

House Majority
Office of the Speaker - Alaska State Legislature


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska