Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oregon Consumer Identity Theft Law Takes Effect

Oregon legislation implementing consumer protection measures to prevent identity theft took effect on October 1, 2007.

The Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act (1) provides for consumer notification of breaches of security of computerized data; (2) allows consumers to place and temporarily lift a freeze on their consumer report; (3) restricts the printing or displaying of Social Security Numbers; (4) creates a duty for businesses that own, maintain, or possess data to safeguard personal information; and (5) authorizes the Department of Consumer and Business Services to make rules implementing the Act and to enforce them.

The security freeze provisions allow consumers to freeze—or block access to the credit—for a $10 fee or for free if they are victims of identity theft. Consumers may temporarily lift a freeze for a fee of $10.

The printing or displaying of a Social Security Number is prohibited unless the number is made unreadable, with certain exceptions. A penalty of $1,000 may be assessed for every violation, which is considered a separate offense. In the case of a continuing violation, each day’s continuance is a separate violation, although the maximum penalty for any occurrence may not exceed $500,000.

The law (Senate Bill 583, Chapter 759) appears at CCH Privacy Law Guide ¶33,700. While the law became effective on October 1, its requirements pertaining to the safeguarding of personal information are operative on January 1, 2008.

Further information about this law--and other state identity theft laws--is available in CCH Privacy Law in Marketing.

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