N.J. Enacts Law to Limit Retailers’ Use of ID-Embedded Data

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By George Lynch

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) July 21 signed a bill to restrict how retailers collect and use consumers’ personal information stored on identity cards.

The Personal Information and Privacy Protection Act, which takes effect in approximately three months, will limit the purposes for which retail stores may scan identification cards to: verifying identity for credit card purchases or for other credit approval purposes, verifying age for age-restricted goods, carrying out contracts, preventing fraud, or as required by law. Stores may only collect a person’s name, address, and date of birth; the state that issued the ID card; and the ID card number.

The legislation was prompted by reports of retails store misusing and improperly storing information obtained from scanned driver’s licenses, according to a statement from Assembly members Joseph Lagana (D) and Paul Moriarty (D), the bill’s sponsors.

“This law helps give consumers more control over their personal information, while allowing companies to collect just enough information to complete transactions and prevent fraudulent activity,” Moriarty said.

Under the new law, information collected by retail businesses must be stored securely, and any security breach must be reported to state police and the individuals whose data was stolen.

Violation of the law can result in a civil penalty of $2,500 for the first offense, and $5,000 for each subsequent offense. The state attorney general is authorized to enforce the law. There is no provision to allow individuals to file lawsuits to enforce the law.

To contact the reporter on this story: George Lynch in Washington at gLynch@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald Aplin at daplin@bna.com

For More Information

The full text of the Personal Information and Privacy Protection Act can be found at http://src.bna.com/q0H

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