2.The Legislature finds and declares that:

a.The crime of identity theft has become one of the major law enforcement challenges of the new economy, as vast quantities of sensitive, personal information are now vulnerable to criminal interception and misuse; and

Terms Used In New Jersey Statutes 56:11-45

  • person: includes corporations, companies, associations, societies, firms, partnerships and joint stock companies as well as individuals, unless restricted by the context to an individual as distinguished from a corporate entity or specifically restricted to one or some of the above enumerated synonyms and, when used to designate the owner of property which may be the subject of an offense, includes this State, the United States, any other State of the United States as defined infra and any foreign country or government lawfully owning or possessing property within this State. See New Jersey Statutes 1:1-2
  • State: extends to and includes any State, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia and the Canal Zone. See New Jersey Statutes 1:1-2

b.A number of indicators reveal that, despite increased public awareness of the crime, incidents of identity theft continue to rise; and

c.An integral part of many identity crimes involves the interception of personal financial data or the fraudulent acquisition of credit cards or other financial products in another person‘s name; and

d.Identity theft is an act that violates the privacy of our citizens and ruins their good names: victims can suffer restricted access to credit and diminished employment opportunities, and may spend years repairing damage to credit histories; and

e.Credit reporting agencies and issuers of credit should have uniform reporting requirements and effective fraud alerts to assist identity theft victims in repairing and protecting their credit; and

f.The Social Security number is the most frequently used record keeping number in the United States. Social Security numbers are used for employee files, medical records, health insurance accounts, credit and banking accounts, university ID cards and many other purposes; and

g.Social Security numbers are frequently used as identification numbers in many computer files, giving access to information an individual may want kept private and allowing an easy way of linking data bases. Therefore, it is wise to limit access to an individual’s Social Security number whenever possible; and

h.It is therefore a valid public purpose for the New Jersey Legislature to ensure that the Social Security numbers of the citizens of the State of New Jersey are less accessible in order to detect and prevent identity theft and to enact certain other protections and remedies related thereto and thereby further the public safety.