Privacy Advisor

New Jersey's Identity Theft Law

November 1, 2005

Beginning Jan. 1, 2006, New Jersey's new identity theft law prohibits any person, including a public or private entity from:

Publicly posting or displaying an individual's Social Security number, or any four or more consecutive numbers taken from an individual's Social Security number;

Printing an individual's Social Security number on any card required for the individual to access products or services;

Requiring an individual to transmit their Social Security number over the Internet, unless the connection is secure or the Social Security number is encrypted;

Requiring an individual to use his or her Social Security number to access an Internet Web site, unless a unique personal identification number, password or other authentication device is also required to access it;

Printing an individual's Social Security number on any materials mailed to the person, unless federal or state law requires it on the document; or

Refusing to do business with an individual who will not consent to providing their Social Security number — unless that person is required to provide the information under federal or state law.

Negligent violations of this provision shall subject a party to liability for a civil penalty not to exceed $3,000 for each violation. Persons knowingly violating this provision will be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree (notwithstanding other cited provisions of the New Jersey Criminal Code), punishable by a maximum 15-day jail term, $5,000 fine, or both. Individuals may bring a civil action against the violator for recovery of actual damages or $5,000, whichever is greater, reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.