Public May Seek Damages for Illegal Use of Credit Card Data

Times Staff Writer

A bill to allow consumers to seek up to $2,500 in civil damages for the illegal use of their credit report information has been signed into law by Gov. George Deukmejian.

"Many Californians do not want the private information contained in their credit report files to be sold to third parties for compiling direct mail or telephone lists," said Assemblyman Steve Peace (D-La Mesa), the author of AB 2908.

Peace said TRW, Equifax and Transunion, the three main consumer credit reporting agencies, have agreed to stop providing such information to unauthorized parties upon the request of consumers beginning Jan. 1, when the law goes into effect.


Bills Signed

Garage Door Openers: AB 3600 by Assemblyman Richard Polanco (D-Los Angeles) to establish safety standards for automatic garage door openers to prevent injury.

Earthquakes: AB 4333 by Assemblyman Charles Quackenbush (R-Saratoga) to appropriate $22.2 million in earthquake bond funds to repair state facilities in the San Francisco-Oakland area that were damaged by last year's major temblor.

Los Angeles River: SB 1920 by Sen. Art Torres (D-Los Angeles) calling for a state study of the feasibility of developing the Los Angeles River flood-way as a park and recreation area.

Organic Foods: AB 2012 by Assemblyman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) to establish tighter state regulation of the fast-growing organic food industry.

Telephone Calls: SB 2765 by Sen. Lucy Killea (D-San Diego) to require telephone call-in firms to quote their rates, then wait 12 seconds to give customers a chance to decline the service by hanging up.

Police Foot Patrols: AB 4087 by Assemblyman Terry Friedman (D-Los Angeles) to provide $4 million in federal funding for a pilot program to put police foot patrols in areas of Los Angeles, San Diego and other cities that have high instances of drug-related crime.

Bills Vetoed

Airport Noise: SB 2405 by Sen. Quentin Kopp (I-San Francisco) to limit the rights of homeowners near airports to file noise damage lawsuits. The governor said he was concerned the bill might encourage construction of homes within areas where construction is discouraged because of the airport noise level.

Hotel Reservations: SB 2082 by Senate President Pro Tem David Roberti (D-Los Angeles) to make hotels and motels subject to lawsuits for civil damages if they overbook and fail to provide accommodations guaranteed by reservations. Deukmejian said he was not satisfied there was sufficient abuse to justify the proposed remedy.

Criminals: AB 3821 by Assemblyman Mike Roos (D-Los Angeles) to make computerized photographs of criminals with records with funds from increased fines to circulate among law enforcement agencies. The governor said he was concerned the technique could mean a significant increased cost to the state.

Domestic Violence: SB 1856 by Sen. Robert Presley (D-Riverside) to increase marriage license fees to help finance programs to reduce domestic violence. Deukmejian said he did not believe it was appropriate for only one group of people to bear increased costs for this purpose.

Airports: SB 2798 by Sen. Bob Beverly (R-Manhattan Beach) to exempt Los Angeles County from a requirement that every county in California have an extensive airport land-use plan. Deukmejian noted earlier this year he signed a bill giving the county a six-month extension to file its plan.

Capital Fact

The Bear Flag was adopted by the 1911 Legislature as the official state flag of California.

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