As a state legislator for 14 years, I am proud of my work authoring landmark consumer protection laws to protect people from becoming identity theft victims. These laws make it more difficult for criminals to commit identity theft by banning businesses, schools, universities and government agencies from using social security numbers as public identifiers, requiring credit card numbers to be removed from receipts kept by merchants, giving people the right to freeze access to their credit reports and giving people the tools to fight back against unsolicited email and fax advertising.
As Secretary of State, I operate Safe at Home, California's confidential address program that offers mail forwarding, voter registration, school records suppression and other services to many victims of abuse, stalking and sexual assault, as well as reproductive health care staff, volunteers and patients. In protecting the identities of more than 2,300 Safe at Home participants, I work with district attorneys, health clinics, women's shelters and other enrolling agencies. Most recently, I sponsored a new law to prohibit the publication of a Safe at Home participant's legal name changes in any public forum, including newspapers and the Internet.
While I believe government should be as transparent as possible, I also believe people deserve to live free of fear or harassment.