Governor Lynch Urges Greater Protections Against Identity Theft

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch today urged the legislature to support legislation this year to prevent against identity theft. The House Commerce Committee is holding hearings this week on a number of bills related to the topic.

"Too many New Hampshire citizens have seen their identities stolen by criminals, jeopardizing their credit and entangling them in legal problems. We must do more to protect them," Gov. Lynch said.

In a letter to the House Commerce Committee, Gov. Lynch urged support for legislation to ensure that citizens know when their personal information has been stolen.

"Our citizens rely on New Hampshire businesses and credit institutions to protect their personal information," Gov. Lynch wrote. "By requiring prompt disclosure of security breaches, our citizens will be in a better position to react in a timely manner to potential threats against the misuse of their identities."

Gov. Lynch also urged that the legislature protect identity theft victims from damage to their credit ratings.

"Victims of identity theft need to be treated fairly when they apply for a mortgage or other form of credit. In order to assist our citizens in maintaining their good credit, we need to make sure they have some control over their credit reports," Gov. Lynch wrote, urging support for a "security freeze" on the disclosure of credit reports of victims of identity theft to ensure criminals can' t use stolen identities to get credit.

Praising the efforts of the legislature and law enforcement to address the growing issues of identity theft and cyber crime, Gov. Lynch promised to work with the House and Senate to address this challenge.

"I look forward to working with the House and Senate during the upcoming session to pass a comprehensive identity theft bill that protects the identities of our citizens from being exploited, while recognizing the operating needs of those businesses and industries that responsibly utilize computers and electronic information to grow our economy and provide necessary services to our citizens," Gov. Lynch wrote.