New State Privacy Laws: Regulating the Use of Social Security Numbers and Requiring Wireless Security Warnings

In the last few years, growing public concern over identity theft and electronic information breaches has prompted many states to reexamine their existing privacy regimes and supplement those regimes with new mandates. California leads these efforts with initiating regulations that focus on a business’s use and disclosure of a consumer’s Social Security number (“SSN”). At least 16 states, including New York, have enacted their own laws following California’s example. In addition, California recently enacted a law that requires manufacturers of wireless network devices to include specific disclosures on the devices that warn consumers of wireless security risks. If the past is a model, we may soon see other states follow suit with similar disclosure requirements.