Privacy Laws & Private Data

These days everyone has reason to be concerned about some type of IDENTITY THEFT. Our world has become so fast-paced and computerized that at times I think paper money will become obsolete. We all probably have debit cards, credit cards, gas cards, health cards, Blockbuster cards, grocery store cards, and cards for just about every other occasion in our life. I have been shopping before and when I offered to pay a bill in cash, I seriously thought the store clerk looked at me like I was crazy. All of these credit cards have magnetic strips on the back that are subject to theft.

I read recently that 73% of Americans have access to the Internet. How many of them buy over the Internet? I cannot recall the number, but I know the sales are in the billions. States, Counties, and cities are trying to think of new ways to tax those Internet, interstate sales. The point is that transmitting personal information over some form of electronic medium is an the accepted way of life. Because of this people need to be very diligent protecting their personal information. Don’t throw away old credit card information. Shred this information. I have seen plenty of cases where the thief looked through the garbage for personal information. Be careful how you transmit personal information over the Internet. Never respond over the Internet with personal information until you are certain that the site is secure.

In recognition of the growing identity theft problem, Federal Agencies have instituted rules requiring the redaction of personal information from Court filings. This is aimed at helping combat identity theft. The obligation to protect this information is placed on attorneys in some instances. To get an idea of the duties, look at any of these laws:

Private Data Prohibited in Court Filings Social Security numbers, birth dates, financial account numbers, child’s full name, medical records, treatments, and diagnoses, employment histories, personal identifying numbers such as driver license numbers, personal financial information, proprietary or trade secret information.

The E-Government Act of 2002, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3500, et seq.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. § 6801 et seq
HIPAA Privacy Rule section, 65 Fed. Reg. at 82464
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2
Fed. Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9037

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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