Subcommittee Approves Legislation to Protect Americans Against Data Theft

July 20, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), today approved legislation to protect American consumers from cyber attacks and identity theft. The Secure and Fortify Electronic Data Act (H.R. 2577), or SAFE Data Act, passed the subcommittee by voice vote. The bill now moves to the full Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration.
 
The SAFE Data Act, authored by Chairman Bono Mack, will enhance protection of personal information by establishing uniform national standards for data security and data breach notification. H.R. 2577 builds on legislation passed by the House last Congress and reflects the changing landscape of data security. The legislation also encompasses many of the lessons learned at recent subcommittee hearings, which examined this year's massive data breaches at Sony and Epsilon.
 
"With cyber attacks clearly on the rise, something needs to be done immediately. In April of this year alone, some 30 data breaches at hospitals, insurance companies, universities, banks, airlines and governmental agencies impacted nearly 100 million records. And that's in addition to the massive breaches at Sony, Epsilon and Citigroup," said Bono Mack. "This constant assault on American consumers only reinforces my long-held belief that much more needs to be done to protect sensitive personal information."
 
"I commend Chairman Bono Mack on her leadership to make this important consumer protection issue a top priority. The subcommittee's commitment to the issue began with hearings into the problems of data security, highlighted by several high profile data breaches, and progressed to this legislation. This deliberate process builds on the Committee's longstanding interest and work to create national standards for data security and breach notification," said Upton. "This is good legislation that will protect consumers and provide a uniform federal standard. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this legislation though the committee and the full House."