www.illinois.gov

Pat Quinn, Governor

State Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

 Government
 Business
 Employment
 Education
 Health & Safety
 Family & Home
 Visiting
 About Illinois
 Illinois.gov

Stay Informed

Your Government


Illinois Flag Honors

Inspector General


 IGNN: State/All Press Release

ILLINOIS NEWS
The State of Illinois News page provides access to the Illinois Government News Network and all state press releases.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2006

Gov. Blagojevich urges the U.S. House of Representatives to reject legislation that would roll back critical Illinois consumer protection laws
Financial Data Protection Act would prevent proposed Illinois restrictions on cell phone “pretexting”

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 consideration.
 
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.  These laws include:
 
HB 1633, which requires companies to notify Illinois consumers if personal information is compromised;
 
HB 1058, which allows victims of identity theft to freeze their credit reports; and
 
SB 123, which requires the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to phase in new Conservation ID (CID) numbers to replace Social Security numbers on hunting and fishing licenses.
 
These new laws are helping provide Illinoisans with peace of mind and protection from the fastest growing crime in the country, and helping individuals take steps to protect their assets and identities before thieves wreak havoc on their credit.
 
The text of the letter is below:
 
To Members of the Illinois House Delegation:   
 
I am writing about Financial Data Protection Act, currently pending in the U.S. House of Representatives.  I was deeply concerned to learn that the Congressional House Financial Services Committee voted to approve this bill, which would roll back Illinois’ existing 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”.   The legislation making its way through Congress, which places the interests of corporations ahead of the rights of consumers, would put personal information at a tremendous risk.  Even if corporations are not committing identity theft, they need to be held accountable for providing proper security measures and playing an active role in consumer protection.
 
Every day, new advances in technology are making it easier for identity thieves to find ways to encroach upon consumer privacy.  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. 
 
My administration has a strong track record of protecting the privacy of Illinois’ citizens.  In the past three years, we have strengthened personal safety laws to cover more types of personal identifying information and to increase penalties for identity theft crimes. We have removed personal identifying information, including Social Security numbers, from documents issued by government and business.  We also expanded the definition of identity theft beyond theft of property and financial crimes to the use of personal identifying information with the intent to commit any felony theft or other felony violations of State law.
 
As part of my privacy protection efforts this year I am supporting a bill in the Illinois legislature that would expand the crime of identity theft to include “pretexting,” or misrepresenting oneself in order to gain unauthorized access to someone’s personal information to obtain financial information or commit another felony crime.
 
The Financial Data Protection Act would put these important consumer protections in jeopardy.  Protecting privacy is a critical goal that must not be compromised. On behalf of all Illinoisans, I urge you to reject this bill.
 
Sincerely,
Rod R. Blagojevich
Governor
 


###

News Categories

 State/All
 Governor's Office
 Lt. Governor's Office
 Agriculture
 Budget/Fiscal
 Business
 Children/Families
 Culture
 Disabilities
 Economic Development
 Education
 Environment
 Flag Honors
 Health/Human Services
 History
 Infrastructure
 Opportunity Returns
 Recovery
 Safety/Security
 Technology
 Tourism/Recreation
 Transportation
 Workforce/Jobs

News Resources

 Search the News
 IIS Radio News
 RSS News Feeds
 e-News Subscriptions
 Communications Office
 Privacy Statement

Features

Sign up for an e-news subscription
Copyright © 2014 State of Illinois Site Map | Illinois Privacy Info | Kids Privacy | Web Accessibility | Contact Us