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02:44 PM
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Balanced Legislation

PCI urges N.Y. Senate to pass data-security legislation that preserves the use of consumer information.

Recent security breaches at ChoicePoint (Atlanta) and LexisNexis (Dayton, Ohio), among others, have prompted public policy makers to address the collection and use of customer data. In response, the New York State Senate's Consumer Protection and Investigations Committee and Government Operations Committee are considering numerous legislative proposals to protect personal information and prevent identity theft. The proposals include measures that would require notice to consumers in the event of a security breach, authorize consumers to freeze their credit information and limit the use and disclosure of Social Security numbers, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), which represents a cross-section of insurers that write more than $173 billion in annual premium.

In testimony before the committees, PCI pressed the need for security breach legislation that strikes a balance between security and commerce. "Lawmakers must strike a balance that preserves the critical uses of consumer information while still effectively protecting the privacy of the data," Kristina Baldwin, regional manager and counsel for PCI, said in a release. Baldwin stressed that lawmakers must not approve legislation that places unnecessary restrictions or requirements on insurance companies relative to personal information.

According to Baldwin, the fact that legislators are addressing security breach issues is a positive step. However, "We urge that legislators work to pass balanced legislation that will protect the consumer while not unfairly burdening businesses and insurers," she said.

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