Nelson: Executives attempting to conceal a breach could face up
to five years in prison
December 4, 2017
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), the top Democrat on the Senate
Commerce Committee, filed legislation to require companies to
quickly notify consumers of a data breach and impose new
criminal penalties for executives who try to deliberately
conceal such a breach.
The move comes on the heels of Uber’s disclosure last week that
it concealed from drivers and customers a 2016 data breach
affecting 57 million accounts.
The legislation would, among other things, require companies to
notify consumers of a data breach within 30 days; and make it a
crime – punishable by up to five years in prison – for knowingly
concealing a breach.
“We need a strong federal law in place to hold companies truly
accountable for failing to safeguard data or inform consumers
when that information has been stolen by hackers,” said Nelson.
“Congress can either take action now to pass this long overdue
bill or continue to kowtow to special interests who stand in the
way of this commonsense proposal. When it comes to doing what’s
best for consumers, the choice is clear.”
addition to requiring that companies quickly notify consumers of
a data breach and imposing lengthy jail time for those who try
to cover them up, Nelson’s legislation directs the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) to develop strict security standards that
businesses would be required to follow to better protect
consumers' personal and financial data. It also provides
incentives to businesses that adopt new technologies that make
consumer data unusable or unreadable if stolen during a breach.
Nelson introduced similar legislation in the Senate last year.
A copy of the bill filed today is
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