Data Security Breach Bill Introduced

Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) has introduced HR 2577, the Secure and Fortify Electronic (SAFE) Data Act, to protect consumers from data theft.

That bill comes after high profile security breaches uncovered at Sony, Epsilon and Citigroup.

The bill would require companies to notify affected customers and the feds of any breaches of personal information. If the breach involved ISPS, they would be responsible for the notification and for preventing further breaches. The FTC would be charged with coming up with regulations on data security requiring companies to come up with safeguards.Violators could be fined up to $5 million for not doing that, and up to another $5 million for security breaches.

"My legislation is crafted around a guiding principle: Consumers should be promptly informed when their personal information has been jeopardized,"s aid Bono Mack. "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 bill is being marked up July 20 in the House Commerce & Trade Subcommittee, which Bono Mack chairs.

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.