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Data breach bill brings plans to five
WASHINGTON (8/1/11)—The Data Security Act of 2011, which was introduced by Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) last week, is now one of five plans for possible fixes to data security regulations. The Credit Union National Association worked with the legislators as they developed S. 1434. That bill would require financial institutions, retailers, and federal agencies to protect sensitive information and to notify consumers and conduct their own investigations in the event of a data breach. Federal authorities, law enforcement, and various consumer reporting agencies must be notified if the breach impacts more than 5000 consumers. Overall, the bill aims to replace various state-based data protection laws with one single federal standard. Carper said that while Americans have “reaped enormous benefits” from the rapid development of the information technology sector, “millions of Americans are at risk for identity theft because of the vulnerability surrounding sensitive personal information.” Blunt added that the bipartisan bill would “help ensure that businesses and government agencies have consistent, national standards across the board as we work to protect consumers’ personal information and prevent identity theft.” S. 1434 has been referred to the Senate Banking Committee, and CUNA will continue to monitor the legislation as it moves through Congress. Other data breach bills include Sen. Mark Pryor’s (D-Ark.) S. 1207 and Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) S. 1151. Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) has also introduced data protection legislation in the House, and that bill is awaiting a vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The Obama Administration has also released its own data breach proposal. The prospects for these data breach proposals are uncertain at this time due to the ongoing debt crisis talks and the potential congressional recess set to start in early August.

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