Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New NH Privacy Laws

A couple new laws in NH that appear to be good changes.
New Hampshire consumers concerned about identity theft have a new tool for preventing damage if personal information falls into the wrong hands. A new state law took effect Monday that allows consumers to put a security freeze on their credit files to prevent anyone from accessing that information.

Even if a thief successfully steals personal information – including a Social Security number – putting a freeze on a consumer’s credit file would likely prevent that thief from opening new accounts in that consumer’s name because potential creditors would be blocked from doing the necessary credit checks. The drawback, consumer advocates warn, is that the freeze can also be a roadblock for legitimate credit checks that are often done when people rent an apartment, apply for a job or open a new line of credit.

“A security freeze requires you to plan ahead for all your credit applications,” said Jennifer Costello, a spokeswoman for Equifax, one of the country’s three credit-reporting agencies. “Consumers should remember if they decide to freeze the file, there are some inconveniences to consider.”
Rather odd how this article goes so far to bellow about the "careful planning" needed to use a security freeze. Personally, I think that these companies that allow access to your credit report should be required to have the freeze on by default and all credit checks would then require specific approvals. But hey, security works best if you don't install the door and tell the owner that it's their responsibility to lock it.

This isn't new since other states use it as well. Funny that the People's Republic of Massachusetts doesn't have it.
A law allowing security freezes was first adopted by California in 2003, McCauley said. Since then, 14 other states have allowed security freezes, and another five states had laws going into effect Monday. Massachusetts is the only state in New England that hasn’t adopted security freezes.
Well, at least it's in NH now. I'm thinking I don't have any particular need to leave my fly open, so I'll probably put up the cash and have my information frozen. It's free for those who are victims of identity theft, but the rest of us have to pay. Another bizarre security flaw intentionally built into the system.

Then there is the car black box notification law.
Anyone who buys or leases a new car in New Hampshire now must be told whether their vehicles are equipped with event data recorders, also known as "black boxes."

The new law goes into effect Monday.

The recorders can help investigators after a crash because they capture information such as speed, location, steering and brake performance and seat belt status.

But the devices have raised concerns from privacy experts, who say many people don't know if the black boxes are in their cars. Some are concerned the information it records can be used against you.

Nationally, automakers have until 2011 to disclose whether a vehicle includes the device, but in New Hampshire, the owner's manual of any new vehicles sold or leased in the state must disclose whether the devices are installed starting January 1, 2007.
I'm pretty much against the use of these black boxes. I don't see that they benefit anyone but the insurance companies. I can understand why they want them, but that doesn't mean I want them having free access to all information in my life. What next, requirements for full video surveillance of my life to ensure that if I have any accident they can determine if it is legitimate to their standards? Seems to me that personal privacy is slowly lost to things like insurance companies, but people have fits over NSA spying which won't likely touch the vast majority of the population. The black boxes in your car will soon effect everyone. But you don't see much MSM outrage over that.

No comments: