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PHILADELPHIA – Pennsylvania residents now have a law designed to further prevent them from becoming victims of identity theft. Gov. Ed Rendell signed into law SB601, sponsored by state Sen. Robert Wonderling (R-24) that puts restrictions on how Social Security numbers are used. Violation of the law is punishable by a fine of $50 to $500 for a first offense, and a fine of $500-$5,000 for a second or subsequent offense. Collected fines will be distributed equally between the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund and the Office of Attorney General for future identity theft and fraud prevention. Among other provisions of the new law, it states that no person, entity, state agency or political subdivision can: * publicly post or display any person’s Social Security number; * print an individual’s Social Security number on any card required for the person to access products or services provided by the entity; * require a person to send his Social Security number over the Internet unless it’s encrypted or the connection is secure; * require a person to use their Social Security number to access an Internet Web site unless a password or other authentication device is also required; * print a person’s Social Security number on any materials mailed to the person, unless required by state or federal law.

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