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Bipartisan Data Security Draft Unveiled, Subcommittee to Review Next Week

Mar 12, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – Bipartisan members of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade today announced draft legislation to tackle the nation’s growing data security challenges. The "Data Security and Breach Notification Act" is a comprehensive plan to help safeguard sensitive consumer information and shield Americans from the consequences of cyber attacks. The subcommittee is scheduled to review the draft legislation at a hearing next Wednesday, March 18, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The draft bill, authored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), would require certain entities that collect and maintain personal information of individuals to secure such information and to provide notice to such individuals in the case of a breach of security. The legislation would replace the current patchwork of laws with a single, national standard for protection and notification.

Blackburn said, "As one of the tens of millions of Americans who has been a victim of a data breach I know firsthand the great importance of needing to protect our personal information from identity theft. This bill will help enhance the security of sensitive information and provide much needed clarity by creating a national standard and ensure that consumers are notified of a breach without unreasonable delay. It’s imperative that we take action to prevent hackers’ success and provide safeguards to consumers to protect their virtual selves if and when their data is compromised." 

Welch said, "Until today, Washington has been asleep at the switch while millions of Americans have had their personal information stolen by cyber criminals. Most Americans would be shocked at how inadequate current laws are at safeguarding their sensitive financial information. While this draft bill is far from perfect, it is an important step in the right direction. I will be working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make practical improvements to it as it works its way through the legislative process."

"Data breaches are a real and growing threat. Many Americans have already suffered the consequences of a cyber crime and nearly every consumer’s personal information is at risk in this digital age. Data security remains top priority for both Congress and the administration, so I am hopeful we can broker a deal in a timely manner," added Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX). "This bill is targeted at breaches and does not restructure or preempt any privacy standards. It establishes a national standard for protection and notification so we can make real progress in guarding against these crimes and restoring consumer confidence."

To view text of the draft legislation, click HERE.

To view a summary of the draft, click HERE.

Representatives from the Federal Trade Commission and affected stakeholders will testify at next week’s hearing on the legislation. The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available HERE as they are posted.

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