Gathering personal information is now a felony in Illinois

The most far reaching “identity theft” legislation, potentially criminalizing the act of information gathering, has been signed into law, codified in the Illinois criminal code as Public Act 094-1008. An exception is included for private investigators, who may still use subterfuge but may not portray him or herself as the individual whose personal identifying information he or she seeks. Personal identifying information includes name, address, telephone number, date of birth and employer.

Sec. 16G-15. Identity theft.
(a) A person commits the offense of identity theft when he or she knowingly:

(6) uses any personal identification information or personal identification document of another to portray himself or herself as that person, or otherwise, for the purpose of gaining access to any personal identification information or personal identification document of that person, without the prior express permission of that
person, or
(7) uses any personal identification information or personal identification document of another for the purpose of gaining access to any record of the actions
taken, communications made or received, or other activities or transactions of that person, without the prior express permission of that person.

The exemptions, please:

Sec. 16G-40. Exemptions, relation to other laws.

(a) This Article does not:

(1) prohibit the capture or transmission of personal identifying information in the ordinary and lawful course
of business;

(2) apply to a peace officer of this State, or of the federal government, or the officer’s agent, while in the lawful performance of the officer’s duties;
(3) prohibit a licensed private detective or licensed private detective agency from representing himself, herself, or itself as any another person, provided that he, she, or it may not portray himself, herself, or itself as the person whose information he, she, or it is seeking except as provided under this Article;

Portraying oneself as the person whose information is sought will negate its use in court.

(e) Except for criminal and civil actions provided for by this Article, or for disciplinary or licensure-related proceedings involving the violation of this Article, no information acquired by, or as a result of, any violation of Section 16G-15 or 16G-20 shall be discoverable or admissible in any court or other proceeding, or otherwise subject to disclosure without the express permission of any person or persons identified in that information.

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One thought on “Gathering personal information is now a felony in Illinois

  1. I don’t see how you read those applicable sections as prohibiting the gathering of information on another.

    If you are talking about (7) uses any personal identification information or personal identification document of another for the purpose of gaining access to any record of the actions
    taken, communications made or received, or other activities or transactions of that person, without the prior express permission of that person.

    This appears to refer to information relevant to commerce. I think that is an overly broad interpretation unless you have the drafting legislators intent to refer to.

    Just my opinion

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