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For Immediate Release
February 07, 2006
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

MEDIA ADVISORY:

ATTORNEY GENERAL CURRAN TO UNVEIL ID THEFT REPORT
AND PROPOSED LEGISLATION

On Wednesday, February 8, 2006, at noon, Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. will be joined by supporters of legislation that will help prevent Maryland citizens from becoming victims of identity theft and security breaches at a press conference in Annapolis. Attorney General Curran will urge the General Assembly to enact both bills and Curran will release his report on identity theft; the information contained in this report comes from an Identity Theft Forum Curran held on November 21, 2005. Click here to view the report.

As indicated in the "Report on the Attorney General's Identity Theft Forum," the number of identity theft complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission from Maryland residents increased by more than 400% over the last five years, ranking Maryland 11th among the 50 states in the number of identify theft victims as a percent of its population. The report also highlights the problem of security breaches and how they can threaten the privacy of consumers’ personal information. Over the past year, more than 130 of these data breaches have affected as many as 50 million people nationwide. There were 2,750 Maryland consumers who were affected by just one of the breaches, when thieves improperly accessed information held by ChoicePoint, a large data broker.

Attorney General Curran will call on the General Assembly to enact legislation that would help Maryland citizens from becoming victims of identity theft. The first: Senate Bill 486, sponsored by Senator Teitelbaum and cosponsored by 12 additional Senators and House Bill 630, sponsored by Delegate Moe and 25 additional delegates, is a security breach notification bill, which would require notification of consumers when their personal information has been breached so that they may take prompt action to protect themselves. The bills would require companies to maintain adequate security for consumers’ personal information, including encryption of personally identifiable information and destruction of information in a manner that prevents its use by identity thieves.

The Attorney General will also ask the General Assembly to enact Senate Bill 487, sponsored by Senator Teitelbaum and 12 additional Senators, and a companion House Bill to be filed by Delegate Quinter, which are security freeze bills. These bills would allow consumers to instruct a credit bureau to restrict access to their credit reports, which would help prevent an identity thief from purchasing items in the victim’s name or opening new credit accounts.

February 8, 2006---Noon
Miller Senate Building, President Conf. Center, 1st Floor
11 Bladen Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

   

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