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For Immediate Release:
January 28, 201
Contact: 518-486-9846
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Encourages all New Yorkers to protect personal information and help prevent identity theft

New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales today joined with government officials from across the United States and Europe, Fortune 500 companies, privacy professionals, academics and others to commemorate National Data Privacy Day. The Day promotes privacy awareness and education among teens and young adults, parents and children, focusing on the privacy issues raised by the use of social networking sites, cell phones, smartphones, online gaming, mobile devices and other online activities.

“New York’s participation in the National Data Privacy Day is our commitment to protecting the privacy and personal information of our residents,” stated Secretary Perales, who oversees the New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP). “Through our efforts, we are providing important information and resources to help businesses avoid data breaches, protecting the records compiled by State government and assisting thousands of consumers who have fallen victim to identity theft.”

DCP received 979 data breach reports in 2015, compromising over five million records of New York State residents and highlighting the need for vigilance among every entity that handles personal identifiable information in the State. New York State law requires that businesses report data breaches to the Department of State, the New York State Division of State Police and the Office of the Attorney General.
DCP will hold two outreach events in the Capital Region today to educate the public on how to keep their personal information safe:

“The Department of State is pleased to coordinate New York State’s commemoration of Data Privacy Day and in helping to combat data breaches, raising awareness and educating the public on data safeguards,” said Jorge Montalvo, Deputy Secretary of State for Economic Opportunity. “The rapid advancements in technology provide myriad avenues for criminals to invade our personal privacy and use our personally identifiable information to commit crimes and harm New Yorkers.”

This year, DCP is focusing on child identity theft prevention. Child identity theft occurs when a minor’s personal information is used to create a false identity, usually to commit fraud.  The false identity will often be used to obtain credit cards, open new utility accounts or make large purchases, such as a car or home in the child’s name. Children’s identities are especially attractive to identity thieves because often the theft of the child’s identity remains undetected for years. For many child victims, the realization that their identities have been stolen does not occur until they attempt for the first time to open a bank account, apply for a job or a loan, or rent an apartment.

The DCP has developed a brochure with information describing what steps consumers can take to protect children’s identity including freezing a child’s credit before any harm can be done. Also, DCP is launching a campaign encouraging consumers to enhance their privacy by reducing telemarketing calls by signing up for the Do Not Call Registry and filing complaints against companies who violate the law. 
The Division’s website provides a wealth of resources relating to information privacy, identity theft prevention and data security breach protection, including resources to Keep Your Information Private, a collection of tips to protect your private information including your social security number, tax identification information, ATM pin, and personal records.

New York State law requires that businesses report data breaches to the Department of State, the New York State Division of State Police and the Office of the Attorney General. To help insure compliance, the Consumer Protection website provides businesses with the forms needed to report a data breach to each agency and business compliance tips and guidance to offer guidance for businesses in the event of a data breach, here.

The Consumer Response to a Data Security Breach informs consumers about the steps they should take if they find that their information has been compromised in the event of a data breach. For a complete list of all the resources available to consumers dealing with privacy and data security, you can visit the Division of Consumer Protection’s website.

Resources from Consumer Protection:

For more information on how to keep safe online, please visit the NYS Office of Information Technology Services Enterprise Information Security (EISO) website at https://its/
Additional EISO Resources:

For more information on National Data Privacy Day, please visit the National Cyber Security Alliance – StaySafeOnline website at
For more information or to file a complaint against a business, visit the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection at or by contacting the Division’s hotline at (800) 697-1220. The Consumer Assistance Hotline is open Monday to Friday, excluding Federal Holidays, 8:30am to 4:30pm.
Follow the Division of Consumer Protection on social media at:

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