Bill Introduced to Preempt State Data Breach Notification Laws

To the applause of cable and wireless operators, a trio of
Senators has introduce a bill that preempts what they say is a "messy
patchwork" of state data breach notification laws and replace it with a
single, national standard.

In the event of data breaches, "the bill would direct
companies possessing personal data to notify consumers by mail, email or
telephone if their information is stolen. Senator Toomey introduced an
identical measure last year," the office of bill sponsor Sen. Pat Toomey
(R-Pa.) said.

It would also require companies to take "reasonable
steps" to protect personal information.

Bill co-sponsors include John Thune (R-S.D.) and Angus King

"We commend Senator Toomey for the introduction of S.
1193 the 'Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2013,'" said the
National Cable & Telecommunications Association, "and especially
appreciate that the bill takes the long-overdue step of establishing a level
playing field that treats cable on the same basis as other covered
entities.  We look forward to working with Senator Toomey and other
Members of the Senate to bring this legislation to the Senate floor."

"CTIA welcomes the introduction of the Data
Security and Breach Notification Act," said Dot Carpenter, VP, government
affairs, CTIA. "By advancing a proposal that offers a comprehensive,
uniform approach to data security and breach notification, Senators Toomey,
Thune and King demonstrate that it is possible to protect consumers while
providing clear, consistent guidelines to businesses. Their bipartisan
leadership is greatly appreciated."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.