Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Identity Theft Protection Act?
A: The Act is a new law, passed by the 2007 Oregon legislature,
that requires businesses, organizations, government agencies, and individuals
that collect and maintain personal identifying information to ensure the security
of that information.
Q: What is "personal identifying information?"
A: A person's name in combination with a Social Security
number, Oregon driver's license number or Oregon identification card number,
passport number, financial, credit or debit card numbers along with security
or access codes or password that would provide access to a financial account.
Q: What does the law require?
A: The law contains three components that will help protect
Notification of a Security Breach. Anyone (business,
organization, government agency, or individual) that maintains personal
information of Oregon consumers will be required to notify his or her customers
if computer files containing that personal information have been subject
to a security breach. You need to notify as soon as possible unless law
enforcement determines it would impede a criminal investigation. Effective
date: October 1, 2007
Protection of Social Security numbers. Those who
keep Social Security numbers are prohibited from printing Social Security
numbers on cards or documents that are mailed, unless the consumer has requested
information that requires an SSN, or publicly displaying or posting a Social
Security number. This doesn't apply to the use of SSNs for internal verification
purposes. The law allows an exception for records that are required by law
to be made available to the public. Effective date: October 1, 2007
Safeguarding Data. If you collect personal identifying
information, you must develop, implement and maintain reasonable safeguards
to protect the security and confidentiality of the information. This also
includes the proper disposal of information. Effective date: January
Q: How does a business have to notify consumers in case
of a security breach?
A: In the majority of cases you can notify by writing to
your customers, however the law allows notification through electronic means
if this is the primary manner of communication between you and your customers.
Telephone notification may be used provided that you directly contact each
Q: Can I just notify people through the media or post it
on my Web site?
A: If the cost of notification is more than $250,000 or the
number of individuals to be contacted is more than 350,000, you may notify
through major Oregon television and newspaper media and conspicuously post
a notice and a link to the notice on your Web site if you maintain one.
Q. My organization is subject to and complies with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley
Act. Do I need to follow Oregon's requirements for breach notification?
A. If a business, organization or government agency is subject
to and complies with notification regulations or guidance adopted under the
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, it does not need to develop a further process. However,
if the breach involves the personal identifying information of your employees,
you must follow Oregon's notification requirements.
Q: If we have a security breach involving our employees'
personal identifying information and some employees live outside of Oregon,
do we still follow Oregon law to notify them?
A: For the employees living in Oregon, you would follow Oregon
law in notification procedures. However, for those employees living outside
of Oregon, you would follow the employee's home state notification law, if
there is one. Of course, you can always notify your employee even if the home
state would not require notification.
Q: What do I need to do to comply with the data safeguard
A: In general you must protect the security, confidentiality
and integrity of the personal information you maintain including the disposal
of information that is no longer needed by developing and implementing an
information security plan.
According to the Identity Theft Protection Act, a security
- Administrative safeguards such as identifying what
personal information you keep and how to keep it safe, training employees
in security program practices and procedures, and ensuring that contracted
service providers are capable of supplying and maintaining systems that
protect sensitive information.
- Technical safeguards such as assessing risks in
network and software design, and detecting, preventing and responding to
attacks or system failures;
- Physical safeguards such as protecting against
unauthorized access to or use of personal identifying information, and disposing
of information that is no longer needed by way of shredding, burning or
erasing electronic data that is unreadable or cannot be reconstructed.
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Q. Is it true that if I follow the data safeguard regulations
in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), I don't
need to do develop further safeguards?
A. If your business or organization, including government,
is subject to and complies with regulations or guidance adopted under HIPAA,
you don't need to create a further process. The same is true if you also are
subject to and comply with regulations adopted under the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley
Act in regard to protecting sensitive information. However, you must follow
Oregon's requirements in safeguarding the personal identifying information
of your employees.