Restricts the disclosure of personal information by businesses.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to restricting the disclosure of personal information by businesses
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section One states that this Act shall be known and cited as the "Right to Know Act 2013"
Section Two states the legislative intent
Section Three changes the article heading of article 39-F of the General Business Law from "Notification of Unauthorized Acquisition of Private Information" to "Acquisition and Use of Private Information."
Section Four of the bill amends the General Business Law to add a new section 899-bb which states that a business that retains a customer's personal information shall make available to the customer free of charge access to, or copies of, all of the customer's personal information retained by the business.
A business that discloses a customer's personal information to a third party shall make the following information available to the customer free of charge:
* All categories of the customer's personal information that were disclosed; and
* The names and contact information of all third parties that received the customer's personal information from the business, including the third party's designated request address or addresses if available.
A business required to comply with this Act shall make the required information available by one or more of the following means:
* By providing a designated request address and, upon receipt of a request, providing the customer within thirty days with the required information for all disclosures occurring in the prior twelve months, provided that:
> The business ensures that all persons responsible for handling customer inquires about the business' privacy practices or the business' compliance with this section are informed of all designated request addresses; and
> The business provides information pertaining to the specific customer if that information is reasonably available to the business, and provides information in standardized format if information pertaining to the specific customer is not reasonably available.
For information required to be provided under this Act, the business must provide the customer with notice including the required information prior to or immediately following a disclosure.
A business is not obligated to provide more than one notice to the same customer in a twelve-month period about the disclosure of the same personal information to the same third party and in not obligated to respond to a request by the same customer more than once within a twelve-month period.
A business in not obligated to provide information to the customer if the business cannot reasonably verify that the individual making the request is the customer.
"Categories of information" is defined as:
* Identity information including, but not limited to, real name, alias, nickname or user name;
* Address information, including but not limited to, postal address or email;
* Telephone number;
* Account name;
* Social Security number or other government-issues identification number, including but not limited to, social security number, driver's license number, identification card number and passport number;
* Birthdate or age;
* Physical characteristic information, including but not limited to height and weight;
* Sexual information, including, but not limited to, sexual orientation, sex, gender status, gender identity or expression;
* Race or ethnicity;
* Religious affiliation or activity;
* Political affiliation or activity;
* Professional or employment-related information;
* Educational information;
* Medical information, including but not limited to, medical conditions or drugs, therapies, mental health or medical products or equipment used;
* Financial information, including but not limited to, credit, debit, or account numbers account balances, payment history or information related to assets, liabilities or general creditworthiness;
* Commercial information, including but not limited to, records of property, products or services provided, obtained or considered or other purchasing or consuming histories or tendencies;
* Location information;
* Internet or mobile activity information, including, but not limited to, Internet protocol addresses or information concerning the access or use of any Internet or mobile-based site or service;
* Content, including text, photographs, audio or visual recordings or other material generated or provided by the customer.
The legislation further provides a definitional section.
A violation of the Act constitutes a right to a civil action to recover penalties by the customer, the Attorney General, a District Attorney, a City Attorney, or a City Prosecutor in a court of competent jurisdiction.
EXISTING LAW: New law
JUSTIFICATION: The Right to Know Act will modernize current privacy law and give New York consumers an effective tool to monitor how their personal information, including information about their health, finances, location, politics, religious, sexual orientation, buying habits, and more, is being collected and disclosed in unexpected and possibly harmful ways.
Many websites incorporate scores of tracking tools that collect information about visitors like age, gender, race, income, health concerns and recent purchases for advertising and marketing companies.
Many mobile applications (apps) share location, age, gender, phone numbers, and other personal details of both adults and children with third party companies - which can lead to potential danger for the consumer involved in the transaction. And Facebook apps used by a consumer's "friend" can often access sensitive information about that consumer, including religious, political, and sexual preferences.
There are numerous examples of companies that collect information about consumer activities inadvertently exposing sensitive personal information such as pregnancy status or sexual orientation. Data brokers are engaged in the Widespread buying, selling, and trading of personal information obtained from mobile phones, banks, social media sites, and stores creating a secondary market for confidential consumer data. When this information is incorrect, it can impact credit scores, hurting an individual at their place of employment or being denied credit. Moreover, scanners are using data broker lists to target vulnerable populations, such as senior citizens
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5171 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 13, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to restricting the disclosure of personal information by businesses THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "right to know act of 2013". S 2. The legislature hereby finds and declares that the right to privacy is a personal and fundamental right protected by the United States Constitution. All individuals have a right of privacy in informa- tion pertaining to them. This state recognizes the importance of providing consumers with tran- sparency about how their personal information has been shared by busi- nesses. For free market forces to have a role in shaping the privacy practices and for "opt-in" and "opt-out" remedies to be effective, consumers must be more than vaguely informed that a business might share personal information with third parties. Consumers must be better informed about what kinds of personal information are purchased by busi- nesses for direct marketing purposes. With these specifics, consumers can knowledgeably choose to opt-in or opt-out or choose among businesses that disclose information to third parties for direct marketing purposes on the basis of how protective the business is of consumers' privacy. Businesses are now collecting personal information and sharing and selling it in ways not contemplated or properly covered by the current law. Some web sites are installing up to one hundred tracking tools when consumers visit web pages and sending very personal information such as age, gender, race, income, health concerns, and recent purchases to third-party advertising and marketing companies. Third-party data broker companies are buying, selling, and trading personal information obtainedEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10249-01-3 S. 5171 2
from mobile phones, financial institutions, social media sites, and other online and brick and mortar companies. Some mobile applications are sharing personal information, such as location information, unique phone identification numbers, and age, gender, and other personal details with third-party companies. Consumers need to know the ways that their personal information is being collected by companies and then shared or sold to third parties in order to properly protect their privacy, personal safety, and financial security. S 3. The article heading of article 39-F of the general business law, as added by chapter 442 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows:
(C) BY PROVIDING THE CUSTOMER THE DISCLOSURE REQUIRED BY SECTION 6803 OF TITLE 15 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE, BUT ONLY IF THE DISCLOSURE ALSO COMPLIES WITH THIS SECTION. 3. (A) A BUSINESS IS NOT OBLIGATED TO PROVIDE MORE THAN ONE NOTICE UNDER PARAGRAPH (B) OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION TO THE SAME CUSTOMER IN A TWELVE-MONTH PERIOD ABOUT THE DISCLOSURE OF THE SAME PERSONAL INFORMATION TO THE SAME THIRD PARTY AND IS NOT OBLIGATED UNDER PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION TO RESPOND TO A REQUEST BY THE SAME CUSTOMER MORE THAN ONCE WITHIN A GIVEN TWELVE-MONTH PERIOD. (B) A BUSINESS IS NOT OBLIGATED TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO THE CUSTOMER PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION IF THE BUSINESS CANNOT REASONABLY VERIFY THAT THE INDIVIDUAL MAKING THE REQUEST IS THE CUSTOM- ER. 4. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS HAVE THE FOLLOW- ING MEANINGS: (A) "CATEGORIES OF PERSONAL INFORMATION" INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING: (1) IDENTITY INFORMATION INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, REAL NAME, ALIAS, NICKNAME, AND USER NAME. (2) ADDRESS INFORMATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, POSTAL ADDRESS OR E-MAIL. (3) TELEPHONE NUMBER. (4) ACCOUNT NAME. (5) SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER OR OTHER GOVERNMENT-ISSUED IDENTIFICATION NUMBER, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, DRIVER'S LICENSE NUMBER, IDENTIFICATION CARD NUMBER, AND PASSPORT NUMBER. (6) BIRTHDATE OR AGE. (7) PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTIC INFORMATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, HEIGHT AND WEIGHT. (8) SEXUAL INFORMATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, SEXUAL ORIEN- TATION, SEX, GENDER STATUS, GENDER IDENTITY, AND GENDER EXPRESSION. (9) RACE OR ETHNICITY. (10) RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION OR ACTIVITY. (11) POLITICAL AFFILIATION OR ACTIVITY. (12) PROFESSIONAL OR EMPLOYMENT-RELATED INFORMATION. (13) EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION. (14) MEDICAL INFORMATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, MEDICAL CONDITIONS OR DRUGS, THERAPIES, MENTAL HEALTH, OR MEDICAL PRODUCTS OR EQUIPMENT USED. (15) FINANCIAL INFORMATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, CREDIT, DEBIT, OR ACCOUNT NUMBERS, ACCOUNT BALANCES, PAYMENT HISTORY, OR INFOR- MATION RELATED TO ASSETS, LIABILITIES, OR GENERAL CREDITWORTHINESS. (16) COMMERCIAL INFORMATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, RECORDS OF PROPERTY, PRODUCTS OR SERVICES PROVIDED, OBTAINED, OR CONSIDERED, OR OTHER PURCHASING OR CONSUMING HISTORIES OR TENDENCIES. (17) LOCATION INFORMATION. (18) INTERNET OR MOBILE ACTIVITY INFORMATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, INTERNET PROTOCOL ADDRESSES OR INFORMATION CONCERNING THE ACCESS OR USE OF ANY INTERNET OR MOBILE-BASED SITE OR SERVICE. (19) CONTENT, INCLUDING TEXT, PHOTOGRAPHS, AUDIO OR VIDEO RECORDINGS, OR OTHER MATERIAL GENERATED BY OR PROVIDED BY THE CUSTOMER. (20) ANY OF THE ABOVE CATEGORIES OF INFORMATION AS THEY PERTAIN TO THE CHILDREN OF THE CUSTOMER. (B) (1) "CUSTOMER" MEANS AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS A RESIDENT OF NEW YORK STATE WHO PROVIDES PERSONAL INFORMATION TO A BUSINESS, WITH OR WITHOUT AN EXCHANGE OF CONSIDERATION, IN THE COURSE OF PURCHASING, VIEWING,S. 5171 4
ACCESSING, RENTING, LEASING, OR OTHERWISE USING REAL OR PERSONAL PROPER- TY, OR ANY INTEREST THEREIN, OR OBTAINING A PRODUCT OR SERVICE FROM THE BUSINESS INCLUDING ADVERTISING OR ANY OTHER CONTENT. (2) AN INDIVIDUAL IS ALSO THE CUSTOMER OF A BUSINESS IF THAT BUSINESS OBTAINED THE PERSONAL INFORMATION OF THAT INDIVIDUAL FROM ANY OTHER BUSINESS. (C) "DESIGNATED REQUEST ADDRESS" MEANS A MAILING ADDRESS, E-MAIL ADDRESS, WEB PAGE, TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE NUMBER, OR OTHER APPLICABLE CONTACT INFORMATION, WHEREBY CUSTOMERS MAY REQUEST OR OBTAIN THE INFOR- MATION REQUIRED TO BE PROVIDED UNDER SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION. (D) (1) "DISCLOSE" MEANS TO DISCLOSE, RELEASE, SHARE, TRANSFER, DISSEMINATE, MAKE AVAILABLE, OR OTHERWISE COMMUNICATE ORALLY, IN WRIT- ING, OR BY ELECTRONIC OR ANY OTHER MEANS TO ANY THIRD PARTY AS DEFINED IN THIS SECTION. (2) "DISCLOSE" DOES NOT INCLUDE: (A) DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION BY A BUSINESS TO A THIRD PARTY PURSUANT TO A WRITTEN CONTRACT AUTHORIZING THE THIRD PARTY TO UTILIZE THE PERSONAL INFORMATION TO PERFORM SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE BUSINESS, INCLUDING MAINTAINING OR SERVICING ACCOUNTS, PROVIDING CUSTOMER SERVICE, PROCESSING OR FULFILLING ORDERS AND TRANSACTIONS, VERIFYING CUSTOMER INFORMATION, PROCESSING PAYMENTS, PROVIDING FINANCING, OR SIMILAR SERVICES, BUT ONLY IF (I) THE CONTRACT PROHIBITS THE THIRD PARTY FROM USING THE PERSONAL INFORMATION FOR ANY REASON OTHER THAN PERFORMING THE SPECIFIED SERVICE OR SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE BUSINESS AND FROM DISCLOSING ANY SUCH PERSONAL INFORMATION TO ADDITIONAL THIRD PARTIES AND (II) THE BUSINESS EFFECTIVELY ENFORCES THESE PROHIBITIONS. (B) DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION BY A BUSINESS TO A THIRD PARTY BASED ON A GOOD-FAITH BELIEF THAT DISCLOSURE IS REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH APPLICABLE LAW, REGULATION, LEGAL PROCESS, OR COURT ORDER. (C) DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION BY A BUSINESS TO A THIRD PARTY THAT IS REASONABLY NECESSARY TO ADDRESS FRAUD, SECURITY, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES; TO PROTECT THE DISCLOSING BUSINESS' RIGHTS OR PROPERTY; OR TO PROTECT CUSTOMERS OR THE PUBLIC FROM ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES AS REQUIRED OR PERMITTED BY LAW. (D) DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION BY A BUSINESS TO A THIRD PARTY THAT IS OTHERWISE LAWFULLY AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, PROVIDED THAT THE BUSINESS DID NOT DIRECT THE THIRD PARTY TO THE PERSONAL INFOR- MATION. (E) "PERSONAL INFORMATION" MEANS: (1) ANY INFORMATION THAT IDENTIFIES OR REFERENCES A PARTICULAR INDI- VIDUAL OR ELECTRONIC DEVICE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, A REAL NAME, ALIAS, POSTAL ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER, ELECTRONIC MAIL ADDRESS, INTER- NET PROTOCOL ADDRESS, ACCOUNT NAME, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, DRIVER'S LICENSE NUMBER, PASSPORT NUMBER, OR ANY OTHER IDENTIFIER INTENDED OR ABLE TO BE UNIQUELY ASSOCIATED WITH A PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL OR DEVICE. (2) ANY INFORMATION THAT RELATES TO OR DESCRIBES AN INDIVIDUAL IF SUCH INFORMATION IS DISCLOSED IN CONNECTION WITH ANY IDENTIFYING OR REFERENC- ING INFORMATION AS DEFINED IN SUBPARAGRAPH ONE OF THIS PARAGRAPH. (F) (1) "RETAINS" MEANS TO STORE OR OTHERWISE HOLD INFORMATION, WHETH- ER THE INFORMATION IS COLLECTED OR OBTAINED DIRECTLY FROM THE SUBJECT OF THE INFORMATION OR FROM ANY THIRD PARTY. (2) "RETAINS" DOES NOT INCLUDE INFORMATION THAT IS STORED OR OTHERWISE HELD SOLELY FOR ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES, SO LONG AS THE INFORMATION IS DELETED AS SOON AS IT IS NO LONGER NEEDED FOR THOSE PURPOSES:S. 5171 5
(A) TO PERFORM A SERVICE OR COMPLETE A TRANSACTION INITIATED BY OR ON BEHALF OF THE CUSTOMER, INCLUDING MAINTAINING OR SERVICING ACCOUNTS, PROVIDING CUSTOMER SERVICE, PROCESSING OR FULFILLING ORDERS AND TRANS- ACTIONS, VERIFYING CUSTOMER INFORMATION, PROCESSING PAYMENTS, PROVIDING FINANCING, OR SIMILAR SERVICES. (B) TO ADDRESS FRAUD, SECURITY, OR TECHNICAL ISSUES; TO PROTECT THE DISCLOSING BUSINESS' RIGHTS OR PROPERTY; OR TO PROTECT CUSTOMERS OR THE PUBLIC FROM ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES AS REQUIRED OR PERMITTED BY LAW. (C) TO COMPLY WITH APPLICABLE LAW OR REGULATION OR WITH A COURT ORDER OR OTHER LEGAL PROCESS WHERE THE BUSINESS HAS A GOOD-FAITH BELIEF THAT THE LAW, REGULATION, COURT ORDER, OR LEGAL PROCESS REQUIRES THE INFORMA- TION TO BE STORED OR HELD. (G) "THIRD PARTY" OR "THIRD PARTIES" MEANS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOW- ING: (1) A BUSINESS THAT IS A SEPARATE LEGAL ENTITY FROM THE BUSINESS THAT HAS DISCLOSED PERSONAL INFORMATION. (2) A BUSINESS THAT DOES NOT SHARE COMMON OWNERSHIP OR COMMON CORPO- RATE CONTROL WITH THE BUSINESS THAT HAS DISCLOSED PERSONAL INFORMATION. (3) A BUSINESS THAT DOES NOT SHARE A BRAND NAME OR COMMON BRANDING WITH THE BUSINESS THAT HAS DISCLOSED PERSONAL INFORMATION SUCH THAT THE AFFILIATE RELATIONSHIP IS CLEAR TO THE CUSTOMER. 5. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION ARE SEVERABLE. IF ANY PROVISION OF THIS SECTION OR ITS APPLICATION IS HELD INVALID, THAT INVALIDITY SHALL NOT AFFECT OTHER PROVISIONS OR APPLICATIONS THAT CAN BE GIVEN EFFECT WITHOUT THE INVALID PROVISION OR APPLICATION. 6. A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION CONSTITUTES AN INJURY TO A CUSTOMER. A CIVIL ACTION TO RECOVER PENALTIES MAY BE BROUGHT BY A CUSTOMER, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, A DISTRICT ATTORNEY, A CITY ATTORNEY, OR A CITY PROSE- CUTOR, IN A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.