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(TRENTON) — Legislation Assemblyman Matthew W. Milam sponsored to protect consumer debit card account numbers has been advanced by an Assembly panel.

The bill (A-310) clarifies that both credit card and debit card account numbers must be truncated on sales receipts, including copies retained by merchants.

“This bill just makes common sense,” Milam said. “In this day and age, when identity theft is proving all too common, there’s no reason why a consumer’s credit or debit card number should ever be made available to others. This is a simple step that protects consumers.”

Under current law, a retail sales establishment may not electronically print more than the last five digits of a customer’s credit card account number or the expiration date of that credit card upon any sales receipt provided at the point of sale. Milam’s bill extends the prohibition against printing the whole account number or expiration date on sales receipts to include debit card information.

The bill also specifies that the prohibition applies to copies of sales receipts retained by the retail sales establishment, in addition to those physically provided to the customer.

The bill provides a civil penalty up to $1,000 for violations.

“If we’re already providing this protection for credit cards, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t also be doing it for debit cards, which I would guess many people use more often than credit cards,” Milam said. “This is a straightforward consumer protection measure.”

The bill was released Monday by the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee and now goes to the Assembly Speaker, who decides if and when to post it for a floor vote.

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