New Data Breach Legislation Passes Senate

By: Absolute Team | 9/24/2011

The US Senate has just approved a bill aimed at protecting national financial networks and powergrids from hackers and at safeguarding consumer data online. S. 1151, sponsored by Patrick Leahy, would establish a national standard for data breach notification, require companies to implement data privacy and security programs, and apply criminal penalties for those who conceal that a breach has occurred. There is a summary of the legislation available here.

This is not the first time that a data privacy bill has passed the senate, or even the first time a related bill championed by Patrick Leahy was passed. We wrote in 2008 about HR 5938, which passed the Senate and later became law, though its focus was more on identity theft enforcement than on data protection. Other cybersecurity measures introduced by Leahy were stalled in 2005, 2007 and 2009.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved 3 data breach bills including S. 1151. The other two include S. 1535 and S. 1408, which you can read more about here.

Financial Services