Bill would require quicker notice, better protection against data breaches

You may not be able to stop them, but lawmakers want businesses to do a better job informing users when their information is hacked.

That’s the message sent on Wednesday during a House hearing to discuss a bill that would require companies to inform users within 48 hours after discovering a data breach.

Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) proposed the bill, which would also require companies to notify law enforcement, including the Federal Trade Commission, within 48 hours.

The bill would require companies to delete information about users once that data is no longer necessary for business purposes.

Testifying at the hearing of the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee, FTC commissioner Edith Ramirez said the consumer protection agency backs Mack’s legislation.

Ramirez said the agency supports the provision that would give the FTC authority to create data breach regulations.

She said the law would allow, for example, for the protection of consumers if their Social Security numbers are breached.

Under the proposal, a consumer could request fraud alerts in their credit files, obtain copies of their credit reports and scrutinize their monthly account statements, Ramirez said.

Related stories:

Sony, Epsilon support data breach bill

China rejects Google allegation of email attack

Cecilia Kang is a senior technology correspondent for The Washington Post.

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