Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hawaii Says Aloha to Identity Theft

Hawaii-Says-Aloha-to-Identity-Theft-audio post - click to play

While veterans across America continue to worry
from the massive 26.5 million personal identities
exposed last week by the V.A., the state of Hawaii
makes significant progress in the fight against
identity theft fraud.


Aloha, in Hawaii, can mean both hello or goodbye
depending on the context of how it's used.

In the case of Hawaii residents it's a welcome
hello, but for identity thieves it may very well
mean "goodbye" as the Governor signs into law
several bills designed to protect sensitive consumer
information:

1) Credit Freeze rights are now available to Hawaii
residents to "lock" their credit report so identity
thieves can not gain unauthorized access to a
victim's credit needed to open up a new loan or
charge card.

2) Security Breach Notification will require that
individuals whose personal information has been
compromised by an unauthorized security breach
be notified of the exposure.

3) Disposal of Personal Information protects
against unauthorized access or use of the information
after it is disposed of and ensures that confidential
information when no longer needed is destroyed.

4) Social Security Number Protection will
minimize the abuses associated with the use of a
Social Security number by restricting its use as an
primary identifier. The proposal would prohibit
in certain circumstances: (a) the communication
of Social Security Numbers (SSN) to the general
public; (b) the printing of SSNs on an
identification card or in mailings to customers
or (c) the transmission of their customers'
SSNs to third parties without the customers'
written consent.

5) Confidential Personal Information makes
the act of possessing confidential personal information
without proper authorization a criminal offense,
As well as calls for harsher criminal penalties
for repeat offenders.

So, our tip for today is to take advantage of the
new rights available to you as a resident of the
state of Hawaii. Especially important is the
credit
"freeze" law which allows you to
control access to
your credit report. With
the "freeze" credit bureaus can no longer merely
provide "instant" credit access to any lender
(including retail stores) preferred by identity
thieves for their ability to rapidly open
up new accounts or charge cards in your
name.

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