PolitickerNJ Wire Feed
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner (D-Mercer, Hunterdon) and Senator Nia H. Gill (D-Essex, Passaic) that would require all health care insurance companies to protect consumer information cleared the Senate Commerce Committee.
“People should not be afraid to provide their personal information – information that is often required - to their insurance company,” said Turner. “These kinds of protections should have been put in place by companies long ago. Protecting the privacy and well being of your consumers should be a top priority.”
The bill, S562, would require all insurance companies, when compiling or maintaining computer records that include personal information, to secure the information by encryption or by any other method or technology rendering it unreadable, undecipherable, or otherwise unusable by an unauthorized person.
A violation of the law would be considered an unlawful practice and a violation of the consumer fraud law, punishable by a maximum fine of $10,000 for a first offense and $20,000 for a second or any subsequent offense.
Senator Turner sponsored similar legislation in 2008 after learning of the theft of an unencrypted laptop computer that contained the names, social security numbers and other personal information of more than 300,000 of Horizon members. At the time, Horizon claimed the laptop was password protected and had other security features, but that the data was not encrypted.
In December 2013, two unencrypted laptop computers were stolen from Horizon’s headquarters. The data included names, demographics (address member ID number, date of birth), limited clinical information and in some instances social security numbers. Approximately 839,711 members were affected.
Senator Gill, Chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said that the bill provides consumers with expanded protections.
“Insurance companies are trusted with sensitive personal details, and customers should not have to worry about the security of their personal information,” said Gill. "By requiring companies to secure this data through encryption, consumers will be assured that their information is protected."
The bill passed by a vote of 5-0, with one abstention.
New Jersey Senate Democratic Office
NEWARK - U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman laughed and exclaimed "So close!" when asked by a member of the press about the ongoing federal investigation into the September 2013 George Washington Bridge access lane closure incident, a.k.a. the Bridgegate scandal, at a Tuesday press conference in downtown Newark. Then Fishman soberly addressed the progress his office has made.Read More >
Between RGA gigs, Christie doesn't skip a beat bashing Trenton Dems at seaside LGI town hall LONG BEACH ISLAND – Gov. Chris Christie squeezed LBI between trips to IowaNew HampshireConnecticut and – tomorrow – Colorado – just long enough to puncture his favorite Trenton-based targets in front of a...
By JEFF BRINDLE Much has been written about the magnitude of campaign spending by independent special interest groups. But until now, there has been little discussion about the impact. During the 2012 Presidential and Congressional contests,... Read More >
“We lived up to our end of the bargain. He didn’t live up to his end of the deal.” - Ed Connolly, president of the New Jersey Firemen’s Benevolent Association.- The Bergen Record
Press releases are submitted by PolitickerNJ users, not by staff. They do not represent the viewpoint of PolitickerNJ.com.