New York Consolidated Laws, General Business Law - GBS § 899-aa. Notification; person without valid authorization has acquired private information
Search New York Codes
1. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) “Personal information” shall mean any information concerning a natural person which, because of name, number, personal mark, or other identifier, can be used to identify such natural person;
(b) “Private information” shall mean personal information consisting of any information in combination with any one or more of the following data elements, when either the personal information or the data element is not encrypted, or encrypted with an encryption key that has also been acquired:
(1) social security number;
(2) driver's license number or non-driver identification card number; or
(3) account number, credit or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that would permit access to an individual's financial account;
“Private information” does not include publicly available information which is lawfully made available to the general public from federal, state, or local government records.
(c) “Breach of the security of the system” shall mean unauthorized acquisition or acquisition without valid authorization of computerized data that compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of personal information maintained by a business. Good faith acquisition of personal information by an employee or agent of the business for the purposes of the business is not a breach of the security of the system, provided that the private information is not used or subject to unauthorized disclosure.
In determining whether information has been acquired, or is reasonably believed to have been acquired, by an unauthorized person or a person without valid authorization, such business may consider the following factors, among others:
(1) indications that the information is in the physical possession and control of an unauthorized person, such as a lost or stolen computer or other device containing information; or
(2) indications that the information has been downloaded or copied; or
(3) indications that the information was used by an unauthorized person, such as fraudulent accounts opened or instances of identity theft reported.
(d) “Consumer reporting agency” shall mean any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports. A list of consumer reporting agencies shall be compiled by the state attorney general and furnished upon request to any person or business required to make a notification under subdivision two of this section.
2. Any person or business which conducts business in New York state, and which owns or licenses computerized data which includes private information shall disclose any breach of the security of the system following discovery or notification of the breach in the security of the system to any resident of New York state whose private information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization. The disclosure shall be made in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay, consistent with the legitimate needs of law enforcement, as provided in subdivision four of this section, or any measures necessary to determine the scope of the breach and restore the reasonable integrity of the system.
3. Any person or business which maintains computerized data which includes private information which such person or business does not own shall notify the owner or licensee of the information of any breach of the security of the system immediately following discovery, if the private information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization.
4. The notification required by this section may be delayed if a law enforcement agency determines that such notification impedes a criminal investigation. The notification required by this section shall be made after such law enforcement agency determines that such notification does not compromise such investigation.
5. The notice required by this section shall be directly provided to the affected persons by one of the following methods:
(a) written notice;
(b) electronic notice, provided that the person to whom notice is required has expressly consented to receiving said notice in electronic form and a log of each such notification is kept by the person or business who notifies affected persons in such form; provided further, however, that in no case shall any person or business require a person to consent to accepting said notice in said form as a condition of establishing any business relationship or engaging in any transaction.
(c) telephone notification provided that a log of each such notification is kept by the person or business who notifies affected persons; or
(d) Substitute notice, if a business demonstrates to the state attorney general that the cost of providing notice would exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars, or that the affected class of subject persons to be notified exceeds five hundred thousand, or such business does not have sufficient contact information. Substitute notice shall consist of all of the following:
(1) e-mail notice when such business has an e-mail address for the subject persons;
(2) conspicuous posting of the notice on such business's web site page, if such business maintains one; and
(3) notification to major statewide media.
6. (a) whenever the attorney general shall believe from evidence satisfactory to him that there is a violation of this article he may bring an action in the name and on behalf of the people of the state of New York, in a court of justice having jurisdiction to issue an injunction, to enjoin and restrain the continuation of such violation. In such action, preliminary relief may be granted under article sixty-three of the civil practice law and rules. In such action the court may award damages for actual costs or losses incurred by a person entitled to notice pursuant to this article, if notification was not provided to such person pursuant to this article, including consequential financial losses. Whenever the court shall determine in such action that a person or business violated this article knowingly or recklessly, the court may impose a civil penalty of the greater of five thousand dollars or up to ten dollars per instance of failed notification, provided that the latter amount shall not exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars.
(b) the remedies provided by this section shall be in addition to any other lawful remedy available.
(c) no action may be brought under the provisions of this section unless such action is commenced within two years immediately after the date of the act complained of or the date of discovery of such act.
7. Regardless of the method by which notice is provided, such notice shall include contact information for the person or business making the notification and a description of the categories of information that were, or are reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization, including specification of which of the elements of personal information and private information were, or are reasonably believed to have been, so acquired.
8. (a) In the event that any New York residents are to be notified, the person or business shall notify the state attorney general, the department of state and the division of state police as to the timing, content and distribution of the notices and approximate number of affected persons. Such notice shall be made without delaying notice to affected New York residents.
(b) In the event that more than five thousand New York residents are to be notified at one time, the person or business shall also notify consumer reporting agencies as to the timing, content and distribution of the notices and approximate number of affected persons. Such notice shall be made without delaying notice to affected New York residents.
9. The provisions of this section shall be exclusive and shall preempt any provisions of local law, ordinance or code, and no locality shall impose requirements that are inconsistent with or more restrictive than those set forth in this section.
FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.
FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.