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New Cybersecurity Report Highlights Need for Data Protection Legislation

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, issued the following statement after the Cybersecurity Task Force unveiled its long-awaited recommendations. Among other things, the report urges Congress to pass data breach legislation, following cyber attacks on Sony, Epsilon and Citi Group which put more than 100 million customer accounts at risk:

"Sophisticated cyber attacks are increasingly becoming the greatest threat to the future of electronic commerce here in the United States and around the world," Bono Mack said, "and that's why Congress -- as recommended by the Cybersecurity Task Force -- should take immediate steps to better protect the personal online information of American consumers.

"My legislation, the Secure and Fortify Electronic Data Act -- which establishes uniform national standards for data security and data breach notification -- provides those safeguards."

Among other things, the SAFE Data Act:

* Requires companies and other entities that hold personal information to establish and maintain appropriate security policies to prevent unauthorized acquisition of that data;
* Requires companies and other entities to begin notifying consumers 48 hours after alerting law enforcement officials and taking steps to prevent further breach;
* Requires all covered businesses to establish a data minimization plan providing for the elimination of consumers' personal information that is no longer necessary for business purposes or for other legal obligations.

"It's time to act now. In recent years, carefully-orchestrated cyber attacks -- intended to obtain personal information about consumers, especially when it comes to their credit cards -- have become one of the world's fastest growing criminal enterprises," Bono Mack continued. "At the end of the day, I believe my legislation will greatly benefit consumers, businesses and the U.S. economy. Given the growing importance of e-commerce in nearly everything we do, you shouldn't have to cross your fingers and whisper a prayer when you type in a credit card number on your computer and hit "enter.' American consumers deserve better."

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