For Immediate Release
January 8, 2006
Contact: Mark Bergman, 804-644-1966 ext. 222 (office); 804-269-1323 (cell)
Democratic leaders announce bill to protect Virginians’ personal information
Would require government agencies and companies to notify Virginians if their information is lost or stolen
(Richmond, VA) Today, Democratic leaders announced their plans to introduce legislation that would require government agencies and companies to notify Virginians if their personal information is lost or stolen. Delegate Robert Brink and Senator Janet Howell both appeared at a news conference in Richmond to announce their intention to sponsor this important legislation.
The bill would require companies and government agencies to notify customers that their information has been lost or stolen if an investigation determines that misuse of that information is likely to occur. Under this legislation the Attorney General’s Office may bring action against any company that violated this notification requirement.
“Giving people the right to know if their personal information is lost or stolen may seem like common sense, but Virginia has not followed the lead of 34 other states in requiring this important notification,” Delegate Brink said. “This legislation will help protect Virginians from identity fraud giving them the tools to take action if their personal information is compromised.”
The crime of identity theft occurs almost every minute and affects millions of Virginians, costing billions in dollars and hours of time. Recently, the City of Hampton had a major security breach where over 100,000 records of taxpayers personal information was compromised.
“This proposal will help Virginians protect themselves from being the latest victim of identity theft,” Senator Howell said. “It’s time now to take action and join the growing list of states that provide protection to millions at risk of identity theft.”
The legislation also provides for a variety of notices that can be given including written, telephonic and electronic. And, the legislation provides that any company or agency that already has procedures for notification would be in compliance with the law.