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Herding cats: Democratic senators introduce cybersecurity bills as Reid tries to consolidate efforts

29 July 2011

While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to consolidate efforts at drafting comprehensive cybersecurity legislation, two Democratic senators have introduced cybersecurity bills aimed at setting national standards for protecting personal information and notifying consumers when their information has been compromised.

Sen. Thomas Carper (D-Del.) introduced a bill, the Data Security Act, that would establish national standards for financial companies, retailers, and federal agencies to safeguard personal information, investigate data breaches, and notify consumers when there is a substantial risk of identity theft or account fraud.

“Millions of Americans are at risk for identity theft because of the vulnerability surrounding sensitive personal information. It seems nearly every other day there is a report of American consumers' highly sensitive personal information being compromised by a store, a school or some third party data center", Carper said in announcing the bill.

"We need to replace the current patchwork of state and federal regulations for identity theft with a national law that provides uniform protections across the country. This comprehensive approach will better serve consumers by making it easier for businesses and government agencies to take the steps necessary to adequately protect all Americans from identity theft and account fraud", he added.

In addition, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced legislation that would set national requirements for data breach notification. Her bill, the Data Breach Notification Act, would require that organizations provide “prompt” notification to consumers of a breach of their personal information.

“It is past time for Congress to pass a national breach notification standard to ensure that consumers are notified when their information is exposed so they can take the necessary steps to protect themselves. This bill will protect consumers, cut costs for businesses, and give law enforcement officials additional resources they need to track data attacks”, Feinstein said.

Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) met with Senate Democrats to try and consolidate numerous cybersecurity bills into comprehensive legislation.

Apparently, getting Democratic senators to follow their leader is like trying to herd cats.

This article is featured in:
Compliance and Policy  •  Data Loss  •  Internet and Network Security  •  Public Sector


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