Lawmakers Pass Bill To Protect Personal Information Stored On State Computer Equipment

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TRENTON – Legislation to provide for the safe disposition of state computers and portable communication devices was approved 39-0 by the Senate Monday, giving it final legislative OK.

The bill (A-3980) stems from a March report by Comptroller Matthew Boxer that found state agencies left confidential data such as child abuse reports and Social Security numbers on discarded computers that were set to be auctioned off.

The bill was approved 70-0 by the Assembly in December.

“It’s unfortunate that we need to legislate common sense rules for safely disposing computer equipment to protect personal information, but unfortunately that’s what must be done,” said Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset), a sponsor of the bill. “Identify theft is a leading worry, and the state cannot be cavalier when it comes to disposing of equipment loaded with personal information. Residents deserve this sensible protection.”

“It’s upsetting to know that such sensitive information as child abuse reports and Social Security numbers was rendered public information due to this serious oversight,” said Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Union), another sponsor of the bill. “Residents should be able to trust that the state is being diligent with the security of their personal information. This bill will give them that peace of mind.”

 


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