U.S. Senators Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) today reintroduced legislation to require businesses and nonprofit organizations that store consumers' personal information to put in place strong security features to safeguard sensitive data, alert consumers when this data has been breached, and provide affected individuals with the tools they need to protect their credit and finances. Currently, there is no single federal standard for guarding many types of consumer information.
"If companies are going to collect and store consumers' personal information, safeguarding that information should be priority number one. Unfortunately, we're seeing some very popular companies outsmarted by hackers. In fact, since we first introduced this legislation, we've seen major data breaches affect customers at Target, Best Buy, Walgreens and Sony," said Senator Pryor, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance. "We need to pass strong security and notification standards before this problem spins further out of control."
"The consequences of data breaches can be grave: identity theft, depleted savings accounts, a ruined credit score, and trouble getting loans for cars, homes and children's education are just some of the effects. In today's economy, we simply cannot let this happen," said Senator Rockefeller, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. "Companies that maintain vast amounts of consumer information need to have effective safeguards in place to keep sensitive consumer information secure. By establishing needed protections for consumers and providing more regulatory certainty to businesses the Data Security and Breach Notification Act will do just that."