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NAMIC 2005 Survey of New State Insurance Laws Summary and Analysis

IDENTIFY THEFT / PRIVACY

A new prominent theme in the 2005 NAMIC summary is legislation enacted pertaining to, broadly, identity theft and privacy. Legislatures in at least 20 states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington, passed laws relating to identify theft. Restricting the use of a consumer’s social security number, prohibiting “skimming”, which occurs when a scanner or other device is used to take encoded information from the magnetic strip on the back of a credit or other payment card and placed another card with the intent to defraud, and notification to individuals when the security of their personal financial data has been breached, were recurring themes.


Identity Theft Protection Acts

Iowa SF 270 amends laws governing identity theft. Maine HP 676 amends the state’s Insurance Information and Privacy Protection Act to clarify that it does not apply to insurance carriers or third party administrators that administer self-funded group health plans that are subject to the federal privacy rules adopted pursuant to HIPAA. Montana HB 732 implements methods to protect individual privacy and prevent identity theft. North Carolina Senate Bill 1048 and Rhode Island HB 6191 enact their states’ Identity Theft Protection Act of 2005, which include provisions dealing with security breaches and security freezes. North Dakota HB 1500 establishes a new state law relating to identity theft, notification and initiation of law enforcement investigation.

In addition to SB 2220 below, Tennessee’s legislature passed HB 1095, which prohibits anyone who accepts credit or debit cards for business transactions to print or cause to be printed more than 5 digits of the card number or the expiration date of the card. Also, Tennessee HB 1557 clarifies the confidentiality of medical records.

Texas SB 122 creates a new a section of law to address prevention and punishment related to instances of identity theft, and SB 99 prohibits denial of an extension of credit to individuals because they are victims of identity theft.

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Credit Freeze

Connecticut SB 650 requires consumer credit bureaus to offer security freezes to protect residents from those crimes committed with the use of fraudulently obtained credit report. Similar legislation was passed in Colorado (SB 137), Maine (SP 190), Nevada (SB 80), Texas (SB 5418), and Washington (SB 5418).

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Security Breach

Delaware HB 116 established provisions for addressing computer security breaches, including specific notification requirements and penalties for violations. Similar legislation was enacted in Maine (HP 1180), Minnesota (HF 2121), Nevada (SB 347), North Dakota (SB 2251), Pennsylvania (SB 712), Tennessee (SB 2220) and Washington (SB 6043). Florida HB 481 requires a person who conducts business in Florida and maintains personal information in a computerized database to disclose a breach in the security of the data within 45 days of detection of the problem or be subject to an administrative fine. Similar legislation was enacted in Georgia (SB 230), Louisiana (SB 205), and Ohio (HB 104).

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Data Practices

Minnesota enacted the Data Practices Act (HF 225/SF 361), prohibiting companies from publicly displaying a person’s social security number to print the number on a card necessary for the individual to obtain products or services. Also, the entire Department of Commerce was granted law enforcement data access. In addition, Minnesota, under HF 1809/SF 1783, requires all insurers and producers to implement information security programs to produce safeguards for nonpublic information collected about a consumer in paper, electronic or other form, that is maintained by or on behalf of the licensed insurer or producer. Nevada AB 334 establishes social security protections and notification requirements for businesses about actual or suspected instances of a security breach of personal information. South Dakota SB 129 prohibits the display of social security numbers on driver’s licenses or non-driver identification cards. Virginia HB 2482 sets forth the restrictions on the use of a social security number.

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Posted: Friday, March 31, 2006 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Friday, March 31, 2006 2:28:19 PM.

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