Data security bill clears hurdle

John Moe Jul 21, 2011

Rep. Mary Bono Mack’s (R-Calif.) SAFE Data Act is on its way to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration. It passed out of the House Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade subcommittee Wednesday. Under the bill, companies would be required to keep up with security standards to prevent a data breach that would expose someone’s personal information. It would also require those companies to tell consumers if there is a breach within 48 hours. Dems aren’t that excited about this bill, however.

From the Hill:

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said, “Perhaps the biggest loophole is the bill’s definition of ‘personal information.’ Under the current version of the bill, most personal information stored online or in company databases is not protected.”
Democrats offered a series of amendments to expand the definition of “personal information” to include protections for photographs and videos, records of video and book rentals and records of over-the-counter drug purchases, including pregnancy tests.
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) offered an amendment to require phone companies to notify subscribers if data — including the location of children — is breached.
Those amendments did not pass. The only Democratic amendment that the committee approved was a minor one from Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) to change the bill’s language from “such personal information” to “data containing personal information.”

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