Gravesend

Treyger wants DOT to notify drivers of muni-meter security breaches

September 11, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilman Mark Treyger says he’s concerned about security problems at muni-meters.

Using your credit card to pay for parking at a muni-meter shouldn’t subject you to the evils of identity thieves, Councilmember Mark Treyger said.

Treyger introduced legislation that would require the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to notify credit card holders in writing when there are incidents of security breaches at muni-meters that leave drivers susceptible to identity thieves.

Under Treyger’s proposal, the DOT would have to provide written notification to all affected individuals within 10 days after a muni-meter machine has been compromised and credit card (or debit card) information has been stolen.

Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) said he also wants the DOT to post information about the security breach on its website.

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The councilman said he took action in response to reported incidents involving suspected identity theft at muni-meters in Brooklyn earlier this year.

NY1 reported in June that the Police Department investigated three incidents in which motorists claimed that their credit card information was stolen when they used the cards at muni-meters located in the 61st Precinct (Sheepshead Bay-Gravesend).

Crooks apparently have the capability to install credit card skimming devices in muni-meters, ATMs and other places, Treyger said.

No credit card skimming devices were found in muni-meters in the 61st Precinct according to NY1, but Treyger said he’s still leery.


“Having your identity or personal banking information stolen can lead to costly unauthorized charges, headaches and serious financial issues for victims, and it is clear this problem is on the rise in New York City,” he said.

In April, Treyger called on the DOT and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to take better precautions to secure vending machines after reports surfaced of card skimming devices and hidden cameras beign discovered at subway stations, including the station at 59th Street-Columbus Circle.

“The public has a right to know when a machine has been compromised, and the DOT has an obligation to better inform residents that their information might have been stolen,” Treyger said.

The legislation has been referred to the Committee on Transportation, which will hold public hearings.

A DOT spokesman said the agency has not found any evidence of breaches at muni-meters and that Treyger doesn’t appear to be indicating any breaches. DOT takes meter security very seriously, according to the spokesman, who pointed out that meter crews are regularly rotated by  DOT at the locations and that the central system can also tell which DOT personnel is assessing a meter and is warned via a sensor alarm if a meter is opened any other way.  

In addition, DOT uses the industry standard technology for credit card encryption, ensuring data is not stored after the transaction, the spokesman said.

***UPDATED***

Article was updated to include information provided by DOT.


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