More Consumer Data Security and Privacy Legislation Introduced

The latest legislator to enter into the federal data security and privacy sweepstakes is Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) who introduced legislation, S. 1535, on September 8.  This bill, if passed, would require companies dealing with consumers to strengthen their data security and privacy policies.  In particular, Senator Blumenthal’s bill, “The Personal Data Protection and Breach Accountability Act,” would required businesses that collect the personal information of over 10,000 customers to employ specific privacy and security measures, including risk assessment, regular testing of system controls, and paying for two years of credit monitoring for any customer whose data is breached. If adopted, this bill would permit the Justice Department to levy fines of $5,000 per violation per day, up to a total of $20 million per violation. The bill also includes federal data breach notification requirements.

Given the large numbers of such bills pending, the Senator’s junior status, and the fact that his bill has no co-sponsors, it is unlikely that this particular bill will be adopted.  At present, at least 15 bills contain the phrase “data security” pending in Congress:

  1. Data Security Act of 2011 (Introduced in Senate – IS)[S.1434.IS]
  2. e-KNOW Act (Introduced in Senate – IS)[S.1029.IS]
  3. BEST PRACTICES Act (Introduced in House – IH)[H.R.611.IH]
  4. To facilitate implementation of title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, promote regulatory coordination, and avoid market disruption. (Reported in House – RH)[H.R.1573.RH]
  5. Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2011 (Introduced in Senate – IS)[S.1151.IS]
  6. To facilitate implementation of title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, promote regulatory coordination, and avoid market disruption. (Introduced in House – IH)[H.R.1573.IH]
  7. Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2011 (Introduced in Senate – IS)[S.1207.IS]
  8. SAFE Data Act (Introduced in House – IH)[H.R.2577.IH]
  9. U.S. Postal Service Improvements Act of 2011 (Introduced in Senate – IS)[S.353.IS]
  10. METRICS Act (Introduced in Senate – IS)[S.1464.IS]
  11. Data Accountability and Trust Act (DATA) of 2011 (Introduced in House – IH)[H.R.1841.IH]
  12. Reform the Postal Service for the 21st Century Act (Introduced in House – IH)[H.R.1262.IH]
  13. Data Accountability and Trust Act (Introduced in House – IH)[H.R.1707.IH]
  14. Protecting the Privacy of Social Security Numbers Act (Introduced in Senate – IS)[S.1199.IS]
  15. Postal Reform Act of 2011 (Introduced in House – IH)[H.R.2309.IH]

Given how many similar bills are pending, it seems likely that something like Sen. Blumenthal’s bill will be adopted before this session of Congress is over.

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