Jackie here, with AllClear ID. We talked about the risk of copying sensitive information on copiers with a hard drive just a couple of weeks ago. We wanted to update you on a law that we have found currently making its way through the New Jersey legislature that could protect New Jersey residents from this type of identity theft.

Bill A1238- An Overview

New Jersey Bill A1238 has the potential to protect many New Jersey residents and visitors when copying sensitive information. The proposed law requires businesses to destroy all records stored on a copier’s digital hard drive making them unreadable before they can get rid of the machine. Failure to do so could put the business at risk for a fine of up to $10,000 for the first violation and up to $20,000 for each subsequent violation.

In addition to the fines levied by the government– businesses can also be held accountable in civil court should their violations result in damages such as identity theft. The bill states, “A person damaged in business or property as a result of a violation of this act may sue the actor therefor in the Superior Court and may recover compensatory and punitive damages and the cost of the suit including a reasonable attorney’s fee, costs of investigation and litigation.”

The law easily passed through the New Jersey State Assembly and is now being considered by the state’s Senate. You can read the law’s introductory statement and track the law’s progress on the New Jersey State Legislature’s website. A similar 2010 bill also passed the Assembly but never made it through the Senate.