Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) has introduced legislation to protect American consumers from data theft. The legislation is in response to concerns over recent cyber attacks and data breaches.
The Secure and Fortify Electronic Data Act (HR 2577) will require reasonable security policies and procedures to protect personal information, as wells nationwide notice in the event of a security breach.
The announcement of the SAFE Data Act comes on the heels of data breaches at Sony, Epsilon and Citigroup.
“In recent years, sophisticated and carefully orchestrated cyber attacks, designed to obtain personal information about consumers, have become one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises here in the United States and across the world. Today, Americans need new safeguards to prevent identity theft, and the SAFE Data Act will help accomplish this goal,” said Bono Mack. “My legislation is crafted around a guiding principle: Consumers should be promptly informed when their personal information has been jeopardized. The time has come for Congress to take decisive action. We need a uniform national standard for data security and data breach notification, and we need it now.”
The act will not, however, do anything to prevent or deter online crime. A key feature of the act, however, requires notification to the FTC and consumers within 48 hours of the time that a breach has been secured and the scope of the breach has been assessed. If passed, the act would allow the FTC the authority to levy civil penalties if entities fail to respond in a timely and responsible manner.