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Following this year’s rash of personal data security breaches, starting with the ChoicePoint and Lexis-Nexis leaks, and culiminating with the CardSystems hack and exposure of the credit card information of more than 40million customers, Democratic Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has teamed up with Republican Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter to introduce the Personal Data Privacy and Security Protection Act (PDPSA).
Sweeping in both scope and depth, the bill weighs in at a hefty ninety-one pages, and covers everything from storage and protection requirements for personal data to penalties for criminal access to and use of such data.
In addition to restricting both the requiring and the selling of social security numbers, the bill sets out a comprehensive set of rules regarding what businesses must do in order to protect the privacy of consumers and to safeguard their private information, as well as setting up guidelines for the handling and disclosure of data security breaches.
The bill stands a better-than-average chance of passing not only because of the bipartisan nature of its genesis, but because one of its authors, Senator Specter, is the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and also because there is an ever-increasing clamour for reform following the hemorrhage of data leaking from breaches such as those at ChoicePoint and CardSystems.
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