Saturday, August 28, 2010

Senators Introduce Federal Data Breach Notification Bill

On August 5, 2010, the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Full Committee Chairman John Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced the “Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2010,” S. 3742, which would require businesses to protect personal information in their possession, to notify residents if that information is breached, and to adopt a data security policy.

Currently, there is no federal notification requirement for a data breach in most industries, although the vast majority of states have enacted data breach notification laws. The proposed bill requires entities to notify consumers within 60 days of a breach and to provide consumers with two years of credit monitoring services.

The proposed bill would authorize the FTC to set national standards for safeguarding personal information and to seek up to $5 million in civil penalties for failure to comply.

If enacted, the bill would preempt all state data breach notification and data security laws and regulations. Only companies covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act and in compliance with that act would be exempt from the proposed law. Last month, Sens. Tom Carper, D-DE, and Robert Bennett, R-UT, reintroduced a similar bill, S. 3579.

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