A model state

April 30, 2007
Is it me or does New York state seem to be leading the pack when it comes to protecting privacy?

I swear, I'm not being biased, although it might be easy to make that claim considering I work in New York (Manhattan), went to college in New York (Syracuse) and live in New York (well, the so-called sixth borough, Hoboken, N.J.).

But every few weeks, it seems, the Attorney General's Office is making an announcement that it has settled another lawsuit with a privacy violator.

The most recent came today when it reached an agreement with Chicago-based claims management firm, CS STARS, for violating the state's breach notification law. State officials said the company did not immediately report a lost laptop last year that contained the PII of some 540,000 New York workers' compensation recipients.

Another big one came last year when Attorney General-turned-Governor Eliot Spitzer announced a $1.1 million dollar settlement with an email marketer who improperly used the personal information of six million customers.

There's been a number of other examples...adware, spyware, spam lawsuits.

A majority of the states have privacy and other IT security regulations on the books, but it seems, few are actively going after the perpetrators. Washington and California come to mind as two other states making good strides - but many others are lacking (and we know it's not because this stuff is not happening there).

Let's all try to follow New York state's lead. After all, the greatest city in the world is located here.

OK, now I'm being biased.
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