Michigan legislature passes telephone subscriber access restrictions

The Michigan legislature passed SB 1202, Identity Theft Protection Act, which would prohibit the sale or acquisition of phone records, including VoIP, broadband and cellular, without the customer’s permission.

Sec. 5. (1) A person shall not do any of the following:

(a) With intent to defraud or violate the law, use or attempt to use the personal identifying information of another person to do either of the following:

(i) Obtain credit, goods, services, money, property, a vital record, a confidential telephone record, medical records or information, or employment.

The legislation gives a new, broad exception to law enforcement to obtain records without a warrant. Cold comfort is offered to others who may have legitimate need for the records.

(2) A person who violates subsection (1)(b)(i) may assert 1 or more of the following as a defense in a civil action or as an affirmative defense in a criminal prosecution, and has the burden of proof on that defense by a preponderance of the evidence:

(b) That the person acted in otherwise lawful pursuit or enforcement of a person’s legal rights, including an investigation of a crime or an audit, collection, investigation, or transfer of a debt, child or spousal support obligation, tax liability, claim, receivable, account, or interest in a receivable or account.

(c) That the action taken was authorized or required by state or federal law, rule, regulation, or court order or rule.

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