Maryland Helps Protect Its Residents from Identity Theft

By Matthew Harwood

Under a new Maryland law, businesses or organizations that lose their customer's personal data must notify them immediately. The law has already helped victims, according to the Baltimore Sun, by making them aware when companies holding their personal data have suffered breaches. There have been several incidents already this year.

Thirty-nine businesses or groups have reported losses of sensitive information involving about 87,500 Maryland residents in the three months since a state law took effect requiring that people be informed of such incidents, records show.

Jeannine Kenney, a senior policy analyst with Consumers Union, said the new Maryland law ensures that people will learn when their personal information has been compromised without having to rely on the good will of businesses.

The law has resulted in more than three dozen personal information security breaches being filed with the Maryland attorney general's office this year, including the revelation last week that a Maryland dental HMO inadvertently posted the names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of over 75,000 customers on its Web site.

Maryland's notification law stemmed from Johns Hopkins University's loss of the personal information of more than 135,000 current and former employees last year. In addition, lawmakers also passed a measure that allows customers to place a "security freeze" on their credit reports. Security freezes stop businesses from accessing an individual's credit report without their knowledge or permission. Businesses seek credit reports to examine a person's credit-worthiness before extending credit or marketing to that person. But it can also be the first step in identity theft, because it allows a criminal posing as a business to obtain the person's credit history and other personal information.

Each freeze costs $5 apiece, which means customers can protect their credit rating for only $15 by getting freezes from all  three credit reporting agencies when they know a breach of their personal information has occurred.




From this maryland law has

From this maryland law has helped people. But the business mans does not agree because some companys have no data. So they does't response. But it will victims and its passed all over the world.

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Re: Maryland Helps Protect Its Residents from Identity Theft

That sure is the first step to stop ID theft. There should be penalties for offices even after they report having given out this information and severe punishment in case they dont inform and caught. People suffer a lot once their ss# gets public. There is not much they they can do. To stop ID theft i think every one should be educated first of what is to be done as soon as they come to know that there is some thing not right going on with their ID and they shouldnt pay any fee for it.
Micheal Smith
Addiction Recovery Maryland

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