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The News editorial, "Safeguarding your identity," was right on target in calling for improved regulation of the data mining industry to prevent identity theft. While identity theft is not a victimless crime, it can be an invisible one. Recent events revealing theft of consumer information from the information broker ChoicePoint illustrate the need for effective legislation to prevent and mitigate identity theft. Federal proposals to bring these types of businesses under the regulatory oversight of the Federal Trade Commission make sense.

Legislation has been introduced in the Assembly that requires state agencies and businesses to notify those who may be victims of identity theft as a result of a computer hacking attack. Assembly Bill 4254, which I and 28 of my colleagues have sponsored, requires state agencies and businesses to publicly disclose a computerized breach of security and to promptly notify consumers whose personal information may have been stolen or compromised. I hope readers will call on their state legislators to support it.

James F. Brennan

Chairman, Assembly Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigation