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WINTER 2008 • Vol. XLVII
- Understanding the Costs When Your Insurance Company Pays For Your Legal Defense
- The Importance of Zoning Due Diligence
- Identity Theft Protection - The Things You Should Know
- The Firm Highlights
- The Firm News, Appearances and Articles

Identity Theft Protection - The Things You Should Know

By Russell G. Tisman

Under the New York Social Security Number Protection Law, which takes effect on January 1, 2008, New York employers are prohibited from using employee social security numbers for identification or record keeping purposes, and face new requirements to safeguard the confidentiality of such information. The law’s requirements, as a matter of New York’s public policy, may not be waived, and empower the Attorney General to impose civil penalties against violations.

This statute applies to businesses, but not to state or local government entities. It does not regulate an individual’s disclosure of his or her own number, but regulates disclosures by other individuals, and applies to both partial and full social security numbers. As of January 1st, covered individuals and entities will face a number of restrictions prohibiting the use of social security numbers as it relates to the disclosure, transmission and storage of information.

Individuals and businesses that maintain social security numbers are required to “take reasonable measures” to ensure that social security numbers are only used for legitimate business purposes by providing safeguards to prevent unauthorized access to information and protect the confidentiality of the number.

To comply with this new law, we recommend that employers take precautionary steps to protect their employee and customer records, and implement safeguard procedures to determine why and how a social security number is being used. Policies should be implemented to restrict access to sensitive information, and training should be provided to educate the appropriate employees about the law’s requirements and the consequences of violations. Finally, measures should be taken to safeguard the storage and transmission of information, including setting appropriate internet encryption standards and password protection methods to prevent unauthorized access. The Firm is available to assist clients in conducting audits, and implementing policies and safeguards to insure compliance with this law.

333 Earle Ovington Blvd.
Suite 1010
Uniondale, NY 11553
t: 516.248.1700
f: 516.248.1729
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