House Takes Up Data Breach, Notification Issue

The House Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee held its first hearing of the new Congress on an issue that both sides signaled needs bipartisan legislation: data security and breach notification.

President Obama urged the passage of such legislation in his State of the Union address, and both sides of the aisle on the committee pledged to work with the White House.

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), the new chairman of the subcommittee, urged a single federal data security law that could supersede 47 different state laws that several witnesses at the hearing said are expensive to comply with, confusing for business and are changing. A single, national standard, he said, would give companies the confidence that their protection measures are sound; put them on notice that if they don’t meet the standard they are subject to federal enforcement; and allow them to spend more money on protecting information and notifying consumers and less on lawyers figuring out how to comply with a patchwork of changing state requirements.

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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.