Identity theft, including business identity theft, is all too common. In its most straightforward form, the thief simply appropriates the identity of an individual or business and uses that identity to obtain goods, services, credit or personal information. Sometimes the misappropriation is indirect. Sometimes, for example, personal information will be included in a business filing with the Secretary of State’s office. When this happens, your personal identifying information and its misuse become part of an official public record.
Last month Senator Hanna-Beth Jackson introduced legislation (SB 1196) that would allow victims of this type of abuse who have initiated a law enforcement pursuant to Penal Code § 530.6 to petition the Superior Court for a determination of unlawful use of his or her personal identifying information in the filing. The bill would require the court, upon making that determination, to order that the name and personal identifying information in the business entity filing be redacted or labeled to show the data is impersonated and to order the removal of, or label, the personal identifying information from publicly accessible electronic indexes and databases.