Lingle Signs New Laws to Fight Identity Theft

Hawaii lawyer Bill McCorriston had his ID stolen and spent months trying to get the theft fixed.
Hawaii lawyer Bill McCorriston had his ID stolen and spent months trying to get the theft fixed.

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Veterans across the nation continue to reel from the latest identity theft scandal- a frightening reminder of just how vunlerable everyone is to this kind of crime. Here in Hawaii- the governor signed six bills into law this afternoon, all designed to protect your information.

1. Credit Freeze (HB1871, CD1): will protect Hawaii consumers who are victims of identity theft by allowing victims to place a security freeze on their credit reports. The security freeze will prohibit credit reporting agencies from releasing any information to unauthorized parties without the consumer's expressed consent. This freeze will help prevent identity thieves from continuing to secure credit in a victim's name.

2. Security Breach Notification (SB2290, CD1): will help stem the growing plague of identity theft by requiring that individuals whose personal information has been compromised by an unauthorized security breach be notified of the breach.

3. Disposal of Personal Information (SB2292, CD1): 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. The bill will protect the people of Hawaii by requiring that businesses and government agencies establish security procedures to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of their customers' personal data.

4. Social Security Number Protection (SB2293, CD1): will minimize the abuses associated with the use of a Social Security number by restricting its use as an identifier. The proposal would prohibit in certain circumstances: (1) the communication of Social Security Numbers (SSN) to the general public; (2) the printing of SSNs on an identification card or in mailings to customers; or (3) the transmission of their customers' SSNs to third parties without the customers' written consent.

5. Confidential Personal Information (SB2159, CD1): makes the act of possessing confidential personal information without proper authorization a criminal offense. The bill also calls for harsher criminal penalties for repeat offenders.

Prominent Hawaii lawyer Bill McCorriston knows firsthand the value of these laws. It happened o him about 16 months ago. A burglar ransaked his office one weekend.

They stole everything- checkbook, credit cards, bank statements, passport, social security card. He says he's still fighting off credit agencies.

"You uncover these things like peeling an onion. You find something monday, the next day you find something else, pretty soon it's a never ending headache." Mc Corriston says the 6 new laws will help other consumers protect themselves.