State Lawmakers Eye Cyber SecurityMeasures

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - (06/21/05) -- Recent incidents of mass theft ofpersonal data is expected to give a boost to several billsintroduced in the state legislature aimed at thwarting identitytheft and other unauthorized uses of consumers' personalinformation. One of the bills would require that all businessesnotify their customers, not just their credit agencies, if theylearn that personal information has been compromised. Another wouldmake it crime for someone to install spyware, software used tosteal personal information or steer ads to a computer user, onsomeone's computer without permission, or with the intention ofcollecting personal information. The introduction of this billcomes after the U.S. House passed a similar anti-spyware bill,which would create monetary and criminal penalties for spywarepurveyors. Others measures being proposed would: allow individualsto put a security alert on their credit report, if they suspectsomeone has stolen their credit information; allow cell phonecustomers to opt out of a company's subscriber directory; woulddiscourage businesses and government agencies from posting SocialSecurity numbers online; and require the state Department ofTransportation to issue a new driver's license number to anyone whocan show that he's been the victim of identity theft.

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