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Draft Data Security Bill to Be Vetted

The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade will hold a hearing June 15 on a draft bill to require more protection for online data and more timely notification of breaches when that protection fails.

The draft bill was signaled at a hearing in the subcommittee two weeks ago on high-profile data breaches by Sony and Epsilon, where industry players and legislators agreed such a bill was needed to supersede 46 separate state laws on the subject.

During that hearing, Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) said she was working on legislation that would set that federal standard. It would include requiring companies that hold personal information to establish security procedures for protecting it; establish even more robust security for certain classes of especially sensitive information, like credit card numbers; and require prompt notification when someone's personal information has been jeopardized.

New National Cable & Telecommunications Association President Michael Powell has said that online privacy and data protection are among the issues at the intersection of networks, content and the Web that he and the association are going to be dealing with on an ongoing basis.