2005 Montana Legislature

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SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 38

INTRODUCED BY COCCHIARELLA, JOE BALYEAT, GRIMES, LASLOVICH, LEWIS, ROUSH, SQUIRES, STEINBEISSER, TASH, TROPILA

BY REQUEST OF THE SENATE BUSINESS, LABOR, AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE

 

A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA REQUESTING THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL TO DESIGNATE AN APPROPRIATE INTERIM COMMITTEE OR DIRECT SUFFICIENT STAFF RESOURCES TO STUDY ISSUES RELATED TO IDENTITY THEFT, INCLUDING JURISDICTIONAL ISSUES REGARDING FEDERAL AND STATE AUTHORITY, THE PROSECUTION OF INTERNET CRIMES, THE ROLE OF CREDIT REPORTS AND CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES, THE ROLE OF EDUCATION FOR BUSINESSES AND CONSUMERS, VICTIM RESTITUTION, SALES OF PERSONAL INFORMATION BY THIRD PARTIES AND DIRECT MARKETING FIRMS, AND OTHER IDENTITY THEFT ISSUES RAISED DURING THE STUDY.

 

     WHEREAS, identity theft is increasing and affecting more Montanans, with a 2003 Federal Trade Commission survey estimating between 9 million and 10 million identity theft cases over a 1-year period nationwide, of which approximately 33,000 cases were estimated for Montana, with financial losses from identity theft estimated at $52.6 billion nationally in 2004 by the Federal Trade Commission, and with the unknown cost of time spent in trying to prove, disprove, and rectify credit histories, which is complicated by a lack of coordination that results in Montanans having trouble finding solutions to the myriad credit, financial, and social repercussions of identity theft; and

     WHEREAS, the increasing electronic compilation and linkage of data related to businesses and individuals has created increased efficiencies as well as the opportunity for identity theft that can wreak havoc on business and individual financial dealings; and

     WHEREAS, the federal government and state governments seek to maintain a smoothly operating financial system while preserving business and consumer rights to protect against the improper use of their business or personal financial data; and

     WHEREAS, disagreement exists regarding ownership of the information compiled on businesses and individuals, which complicates the issues raised over inaccurate or stolen identity data and the sale of information to third parties or direct marketing organizations; and

     WHEREAS, the global nature of the Internet and the potential for electronic data to be shared worldwide complicate jurisdictional authority over prosecution of identity theft and restitution for victims; and

     WHEREAS, government documents, trade secrets, and medical records fall under myriad disclosure or privacy laws, which further raises questions of coordination among these laws.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:

     That the Legislative Council be requested to designate an appropriate interim committee, pursuant to section 5-5-217, MCA, or direct sufficient staff resources to study issues related to identity theft, including how these issues are being handled at the federal level and in other states, and what public policy options the Montana Legislature might consider in response.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the study address the scope of authority for the state to regulate access to and content of credit reports in cases of identity theft as well as the duties of credit bureaus related to identity theft reports.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the study address issues related to consumer protection and prosecution related to identity theft as the theft involves direct marketing organizations and sales of identity theft information to third parties.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the study address criteria for businesses to use to protect information that could be used against their Montana customers.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the study address victim restitution and what processes might be needed to address cross-jurisdictional authority for restitution and prosecution.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the study propose consumer education and business education measures and processes for protecting personal and business information, for dealing with promotional credit offers or "live" credit cards that, if stolen, could impact a person's credit history, and for dealing with personal and business identity theft.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the study address the tools and training needed by law enforcement and regulators and propose policies and budgets to address these issues.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the study review the various types of government records and the interaction between privacy and the right to know as these concepts affect the protection of identity, trade secrets, medical records, and other information regulated by privacy laws.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the study include legislators and interested parties to address these issues and any other issues raised during the study.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that if the study is assigned to staff, any findings or conclusions be presented to and reviewed by an appropriate committee designated by the Legislative Council.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all aspects of the study, including presentation and review requirements, be concluded prior to September 15, 2006.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the final results of the study, including any findings, conclusions, comments, or recommendations of the appropriate committee, be reported to the 60th Legislature.

- END -

 


Latest Version of SJ 38 (SJ0038.ENR)
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