Blunt/Carper bill adds to consumer protection
January 16, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the wake of recent reports regarding several major data security breaches, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (MO) and Tom Carper (DE) introduced the “Data Security Act of 2014” on January 15, 2014.. The bipartisan bill will help protect consumers from identity theft and account fraud and establish clear and consistent rules of the road nationally for public and private institutions to follow to prevent and respond to data breaches.

The Data Security Act of 2014 would require entities such as financial institutions, retailers, and federal agencies to better safeguard sensitive information, investigate security breaches, and notify consumers when there is a substantial risk of identity theft or account fraud. These new requirements would apply to businesses that take credit or debit card information, data brokers that compile private information, and government agencies that possess nonpublic personal information.

“New technologies pose new opportunities – as well as new security challenges. As recent headlines have once again reminded us, now is the time to strengthen our nation’s data security and defend consumers against data breaches by both businesses and government agencies,” said Blunt. “I’m glad to work with Senator Carper again as we continue our bipartisan effort to create consistent, national standards to better protect consumers and businesses from identity theft and account fraud.”

“As the recent incidents involving Target and Neiman Marcus remind us, major data breaches that compromise consumers’ identities and financial security are becoming more routine. These recent breaches, and others before them, underscore the need for Congress to act to protect Americans against fraud and identity theft,” said Carper. “For millions of Americans, data breaches can cause worry and confusion and, in some cases, serious financial harm. We cannot allow technology advances to outpace the security measures in place to safeguard the transactions we conduct in person and online. This bipartisan and comprehensive approach would better serve consumers by ensuring that businesses and government agencies take the steps necessary to secure personal and financial information and respond swiftly and effectively in the unfortunate event of a breach.”

Additional background on the “Data Security Act of 2014”

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