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Statement from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater on the Signing of SB1208/HB7111 Consumer Protection against Identity Theft

5/4/2012

Contact: Anna Alexopoulos
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE—Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today released the following statement regarding Governor Rick Scott’s signing of HB7111. The bills close a public records loophole that allowed certain groups to obtain social security information from CFO Atwater’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property. 

“It is unconscionable that Florida, the state with the highest levels of identity theft complaints in the nation, would mandate a state agency to release social security numbers for any purpose. As Florida’s CFO, it is critical that I do everything possible to protect consumers from great financial loss. I commend Gov. Scott for signing this legislation that better protects the identities of our fellow Floridians.

“I applaud the members of the House State Affairs Committee and the Senate Rules Committee for supporting this important piece of legislation throughout the 2012 Legislation Session and ensuring that Floridians are protected.”

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services.  CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away capital, and ensuring transparency and accountability in spending.