March 21, 2006
Posted online April 19, 2006
Gov. urges the U.S. House to reject
legislation that would roll back consumer protection
State of Illinois
CHICAGO – Continuing his effort to protect the privacy
rights of Illinoisans, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today sent a
letter to members of Illinois' Congressional Delegation,
urging them to reject federal legislation that would roll back
existing state identity theft notification laws and prevent new
laws intended to protect Illinois residents from having their
cell phone records and other personal information released
through a practice known as "pretexting". Under the
Financial Data Protection Act, companies would be able decide
whether or not they need to notify consumers about security
breaches that put their personal information at risk.
"The Financial Data Protection Act, which places the
interests of corporations ahead of the rights of consumers, would
put personal information at a tremendous risk," Gov.
Blagojevich wrote to lawmakers. "Every day, new advances in
technology are making it easier for identity thieves to find ways
to encroach upon consumer privacy. Protecting privacy is a
critical goal that must not be compromised. On behalf of all
Illinoisans, I urge you to reject this bill."
Earlier this month, high-tech thieves hacked the computer
systems at Citibank and stole countless ATM cards' PIN
numbers, which had previously been considered one of the safest
types of personal information. Last year alone, identity thieves
cost consumers $550 million. On average, victims will spend about
600 hours and $1,500 repairing their credit.
Throughout his administration, Gov. Blagojevich has led the
fight for stronger consumer and privacy protections. Last month,
the Illinois Senate unanimously passed the governor's
legislation that would outlaw "pretexting."
Pretexting is pretending to be an account holder, or to have
authorization to access an account, to obtain cell phone records,
long distance call records, a person's physical location
and other personal records, such as GM OnStar information and any
other account information relating to that person, such as dating
service information or post office boxes. According to the
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Illinois would be
among the first states in the nation to fight cell phone record
pretexting. Senate Bill 2554 has moved to the House for
Since January 1, everyone in Illinois has been armed with
additional tools to shield themselves from the risk of identity
theft thanks to several laws signed by Gov. Blagojevich that
offer a significantly wider range of consumer protections. The
laws help victims recover from identity theft more quickly and
better protect individuals' personal information.