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Today, Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act to hold credit reporting agencies like Equifax accountable for data breaches that jeopardize consumer data.
The bill would give the Federal Trade Commission more authority over data security at all credit reporting agencies, impose mandatory penalties upon credit reporting agencies who fail to protect consumer data, and provide compensation to consumers for data stolen in a security breach. Public Knowledge applauds Senators Warner and Warren for prioritizing consumer privacy.
The following can be attributed to Megan Stifel, Cybersecurity Policy Director at Public Knowledge:
“Last year we learned of one of the worst consumer data breaches in modern American history -- the Equifax hack. Before this breach, many consumers weren’t even aware that credit reporting agencies like Equifax maintained their most sensitive information, including social security numbers.
“This legislation would improve credit bureau cybersecurity and, just as importantly, adequately staff the FTC to enable strong enforcement. The new requirements outline specific actions that credit reporting agencies must undertake to remain in compliance.
“Entities not directly covered by the bill that hold similar information would be wise to voluntarily adopt these practices and we urge them to publicly affirm that they have done so. The programmatic and reporting requirements, together with greater transparency and accountability about companies’ actions to protect consumer data, will help strengthen the internet ecosystem and enhance trust in the digital economy.
“We appreciate this bill’s attention to key weaknesses in consumer data protection. At the same time, we continue to support congressional efforts to develop effective comprehensive legislation to protect consumers’ data.”
You can learn more on our website by reading “The Right Response to Equifax” and “Members of Congress Tackle Consumer Protection Failures from Equifax Breach.”