Senate wades into effort to prevent data breaches

Josh Smith reports:

Protecting personal information is all the rage on Capitol Hill these days, with two new data-breach bills introduced on Thursday in the Senate.

Sens. Thomas Carper, D-Del., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., introduced legislation designed to prevent identity theft and account fraud.

The bill, tentatively named the Data Security Act of 2011, would require financial companies, retailers, and federal agencies to guard private information, investigate possible breaches, and notify consumers if there is a chance their information was compromised.


Organizations that discover data breaches would be required to investigate the incident. If it affects more than 5,000 and the breach could cause “individual harm or bank fraud,” the organization is mandated to inform federal regulators, law-enforcement officials, and consumer-reporting agencies.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., also introduced legislation on Thursday that would require organizations to notify consumers when their personally identifiable information is compromised.


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