Stephon Johnson | 11/28/2013, 6 a.m.
Tabach-Bank also said that the amended law would amount to profiling based on age, gender, ethnicity and ZIP code of residence and it would leave the consumer unprotected from identify theft.
Eric Modell, president of the Collateral Loanbrokers Association of New York, also provided testimony and immediately launched into criticism of the NYPD, whose officials left the hearing once they gave their testimony, and told those in attendance that he had used Leads Online for six years, but it was so harmful to his business and to his customers, who learned firsthand what happened when law enforcement had unlimited access to customer information.
“A law-abiding customer of ours, who prefers to remain anonymous, had used our services for more than five years when she was subjected to the unintended consequences of Leads,” said Modell. “During her time as a customer in my store, she regularly pledged and redeemed a single item of jewelry. Based upon the information furnished to the New York City Police Department by Leads, our customer was confronted regarding her loan activity, which was unilaterally deemed to be suspicious by New York City Police Department personnel. No warrant or judicial oversight was secured before our customer was subjected to police scrutiny.”
Modell said the person in question was woken up in the middle of the night by two officers and interrogated over her loan transactions. After the hearing, Modell spoke to the AmNews and gave his thoughts on the NYPD’s testimony.
“The testimony seems to indicate that property crime, specifically Apple product theft, exists because there are pawnshops and second-hand stores,” said Modell. “This is offensive. The licensed operators are business people who are invested in their operations and look to deter stolen merchandise because it costs us money that we cannot get back. If Apple crime is at the heart of this, work with Apple to develop a ‘kill switch’ solution.”
If Modell and Tabach-Bank have their way, a “kill switch” solution would be enacted on Int. No. 1177. As for the next step, Modell said that they’ll continue to fight even if the law is enacted. Modell maintained his belief in the unconstitutionality of the law.