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Passing the Data Security Act

When you have a Senate that in one fell swoop votes both to defund a women’s health clinic, and to allow terrorists of all walks of life to continue to murder American citizens with minimal obstruction, it’s nice to see a politician do something that’s actually in the interests of the people he represents.  Cyber Monday, on the heels of The-Purge-of-shopping-days we call Black Friday, came and went last week, and this year it just so happened to coincide with Rotterdam Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara’s promotion of the Data Security Act, introduced earlier this year in the New York state legislature by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.  Incentivized, he says, by Cyber Monday and the opportunities it presents for online criminals, Santabarbara chose said day to appear in downtownSchenectady to speak about the bill.

Under the proposed legislation, companies who neglect their security practices as it pertains to customer data would see maximum penalties rise from $150,000 to $1 million.  They would also be required to protect biometric information like fingerprint IDs, in addition to Social Security, credit card and driver’s license numbers.

Of course, the Santabarbara family’s recent brush with identity theft contributed to the Assemblyman’s taking action.  He discovered the problem when someone made illegal purchases with his credit card, although whether it was due to the same phishing email scams that see an uptick on Cyber Monday is unclear.  But at least the effort is being made to bolster protections for people from the threat of online identity theft.

By: Jonathan Weicher

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