United States: Two Data Breach Bills Introduced In US Senate

As we near the end of a year that has seen more than its share of massive data breaches, two bills have been introduced (one re-introduced) in the U.S. Senate.

Consumer Privacy Protection Act of 2017: The Consumer Privacy Protection Act of 2017 would set a national standard for implementation of "comprehensive consumer privacy and data security program(s)" by companies which collect and hold data on at least 10,000 Americans. The language includes the by-now typical requirement that the program include "administrative, technical, and physical safeguards appropriate to the size and complexity, and the nature and scope, of the activities of the covered entity."

The legislation's coverage extends the usual universe of protected data (Social Security, drivers' license, and passport numbers, financial account numbers or debit/credit card numbers in combination with a security code or PIN) to online usernames and passwords, unique biometric data such as fingerprints and retina or iris scans, physical and mental health data, geolocation data, and private digital photographs and videos.

The bill would also allow the United States Attorney General, state attorneys general, and the Federal Trade Commission to enforce alleged violations of the breach notification or security rules, which could subject companies to civil penalties of at least $16,500, depending on the number of records that were breached. The bill does not provide for a private right of action.

The legislation would require notification to be made "as expediently as possible and without unreasonable delay following the discovery by the covered entity of a security breach."

The law would also require companies to provide "five years of appropriate identity theft prevention and mitigation services" at no cost to any individual who asks for it, and prohibits automatic enrollment in the identity theft prevention and mitigation services without their consent.

The text of the bill can be found here.

Data Security and Breach Notification Act: Three U.S. Senators followed the Consumer Privacy Protection Act of 2017 with the re-introduction of a bill called the Data Security and Breach Notification Act in an effort to standardize the current patchwork of state-based breach reporting requirements. The new law would require companies to report a data breach within 30 days, with a penalty of up to five years in prison for knowingly concealing a breach.

With specific requirements breach reporting varying drastically across 48 states, the proposed bill could provide a helpful and appropriate baseline for companies nationwide to follow. In fact, a similar provision already governs the health industry: the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule for health providers and businesses requires that breaches be reported no less than 60 days after detection. While attempts at a nationwide breach reporting law have been proposed in Congress before, and a handful of new bills concerning data breaches has been introduced this year, one has yet to reach a vote. The latest Data Security and Breach Notification Act would apply to companies that use, store, or access sensitive or personally identifying information for more than 10,000 people per year, and outlines several breach notification requirements including the 30-day reporting rule. Companies will need to develop procedures to assess "reasonably foreseeable" system vulnerabilities, as well as methods to destroy or render unreadable consumer data that is no longer being used. The bill also tasks the Federal Trade Commission with establishing new security standards and incentives for businesses to implement technology that makes consumer data "unusable or unreadable if stolen during a breach."

The proposed bill arrives in the wake of a disastrous wave of data breaches. Most recently, a massive breach at credit monitoring agency Equifax Inc., exposed the sensitive personal and financial information of 145 million Americans. Equifax's executives waited 41 days to alert the public after discovering the breach, leaving customers unaware that they were at high risk of identity theft or financial compromise (for instance, over 200,000 people have had their credit card information stolen since the breach). Read more about the implications of the Equifax breach at our previous post here. However, ride-sharing company Uber waited even longer – just last month, Uber's executives finally disclosed that hackers accessed the personal data of 57 million riders and drivers in late 2016. This data included phone numbers, email addresses, names, and drivers' license numbers. Instead of alerting the public and relevant authorities, Uber paid the hackers $100,000 to keep quiet and destroy the data. Such a response not only violates the breach notification laws of California, where Uber is headquartered, but also perpetuates the dangerous "attacker business model" in which hackers solicit payments to unlock files captured in ransomware attacks.

The provision of a national reporting standard might reduce compliance costs for companies and vendors, who under the status quo must invest time and resources to navigating 48 different state-based reporting laws. The standard would also provide consumers greater certainty in how their data will be managed across the marketplace, regardless of where they are taking their business. At a Congressional hearing with current and former Equifax executives in November, there appeared to be bipartisan agreement that greater protections for personal data must be enacted.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions