Social Security numbers

Alaska passed a breach notification law in June, making it state number 44 to do so. As most are aware by now, Alaska’s new law, Alaska Stat. § 45.48.010 et seq., includes breach notification requirements, restrictions on use of Social Security numbers, and allows consumers to place a security [deep] freeze on their credit reports. Notification of a breach is not required if, after an appropriate investigation and written notification to Alaska’s attorney general, the covered entity determines that there is not a reasonable likelihood that harm to consumers has resulted or will result from the breach. By popular demand, following is our updated list of security breach notification laws.

The protection of Social Security numbers (SSNs) from identity thieves has emerged as a hot news topic in the past few weeks. In California, it was revealed that, for the past three years, the Secretary of State’s office has been selling in bulk electronic UCC filings containing SSNs. Those filings were available to the public on the Secretary’s website, so that lenders and creditors could verify the availability of personal property used as collateral. Approximately one-third of the state’s two million UCC filings contained SSNs. Secretary of State Debra Bowen immediately shut off web-based access to the UCC filings and took down the offending part of the website.