(1) The legislature finds that means of identification and financial information are personal and sensitive information such that if unlawfully obtained, possessed, used, or transferred by others may result in significant harm to a person's privacy, financial security, and other interests. The legislature finds that unscrupulous persons find ever more clever ways, including identity theft, to improperly obtain, possess, use, and transfer another person's means of identification or financial information. The legislature intends to penalize for each unlawful act of improperly obtaining, possessing, using, or transferring means of identification or financial information of an individual person. The unit of prosecution for identity theft by use of a means of identification or financial information is each individual unlawful use of any one person's means of identification or financial information. Unlawfully obtaining, possessing, or transferring each means of identification or financial information of any individual person, with the requisite intent, is a separate unit of prosecution for each victim and for each act of obtaining, possessing, or transferring of the individual person's means of identification or financial information.
(2) The people find that additional measures are needed to protect seniors and vulnerable individuals from identity theft because such individuals often have less ability to protect themselves and such individuals can be targeted using information available through public sources, including publicly available information that identifies such individuals or their in-home caregivers.
Short title—Intent—Construction—2017 c 4 (Initiative Measure No. 1501):
See notes following RCW 9.35.005
Finding—Intent—2008 c 207 §§ 3 and 4:
"The legislature enacts sections 3 and 4 of this act to expressly reject the interpretation of State v. Leyda,
157 Wn.2d 335, 138 P.3d 610 (2006), which holds that the unit of prosecution in identity theft is any one act of either knowingly obtaining, possessing, using, or transferring a single piece of another's identification or financial information, including all subsequent proscribed conduct with that single piece of identification or financial information, when the acts are taken with the requisite intent. The legislature finds that proportionality of punishment requires the need for charging and punishing for obtaining, using, possessing, or transferring any individual person's identification or financial information, with the requisite intent. The legislature specifically intends that each individual who obtains, possesses, uses, or transfers any individual person's identification or financial information, with the requisite intent, be classified separately and punished separately as provided in chapter 9.94A
RCW." [ 2008 c 207 § 1.