STENDER & DeANGELO BILL TO PROTECT PERSONAL INFORMATION BY REQUIRING SAFE DISPOSAL OF STATE COMPUTER EQUIPMENT ADVANCED BY ASSEMBLY PANEL

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Stender and Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo to provide for the safe disposition of state computers, software and portable communication devices was released 5-0 Monday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-3980) stems from a March report by Comptroller Matthew Boxer that found state agencies left confidential data such as child abuse reports and Social Security numbers on discarded computers that were set to be auctioned off.
“It’s unfortunate that we need to legislate common sense rules for safely disposing computer equipment to protect personal information, but unfortunately that’s what must be done,” said Stender (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset). “Identify theft is a leading worry, and the state cannot be cavalier when it comes to disposing of equipment loaded with personal information. Residents deserve this sensible protection.”
“It’s hard to believe that the state would be so careless with personal information, but this law will change that and protect residents,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Personal information such as child abuse reports and Social Security numbers require sensitivity and security, and that’s our goal with this legislation.”
The bill requires the Director of the Division of Purchase and Property, in consultation with the Chief Technology Officer of the State’s Office of Information Technology, to develop a program regarding the disposition of any computer, computer equipment, computer software or portable communication device in the custody and control of any state department, institution, commission, board, body, or other agency.
The program shall include procedures concerning the redistribution of items among state entities, the distribution of items to local governmental entities, boards of education, nonpublic schools and nonprofit charitable corporations pursuant, the public purchase of items and the final disposal of items not distributed or purchased.
The bill was released by the Assembly State Government Committee.