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December 2011

The ongoing debate over a federal breach notification law

Here we go again. Every year it seems there’s at least one federal bill to create a national data breach notification standard. This year, there’s at least five in the mix. The renewed push by lawmakers isn’t surprising given the raft of high-profile security breaches this year involving Sony, Epsilon and others. But whether any of their bills actually become law is a huge question mark. These proposals always fade away, hammered down by partisan wrangling that pits business interests against consumer interests. Movement towards a federal breach notification law started fairly soon after California enacted its groundbreaking security breach disclosure law, known as SB1386, in 2002. Since then, 46 states have passed some form of breach notification requirement, creating a maze of laws that companies must navigate in the event of a breach. A national law would supersede the patchwork of state laws. This fall, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved three bills that would create a national data breach notification standard. The ...

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