80% of organizations in the U.S. have suffered at least one data breach in just a year. Data breaches can have a serious and detrimental impact on your life. Identity theft, a ruined credit score, and denial of benefits can all happen when your personal data falls in the wrong hands. Consumers need to be able to protect themselves from this kind of disaster. When you don't know that your SSN, credit card account number, or driver's license has been compromised, you cannot take active steps to secure your identity.
This week the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on three bills that will ultimately affect how companies handle the personal information you give them, and what they have to do when the information gets lost or stolen. The bills require companies to put in place meaningful procedures so that data breaches don't happen in the first place. In the event of a breach, companies would be required to inform consumers and help them regain control over their private data.
This is critical because data that falls into the wrong hands can lead to credit card fraud, identity theft or worse.
It is imperative that the Senate Judiciary Committee pass strong data security legislation that will ensure the privacy and safety of consumer information. Urge your senator to vote for the most protective data security bill possible!
Our safety and privacy lie in your hands. Consumers have no control over the information they turn over to a company or organization. As a result, Congress must require companies holding consumer data to put in place strong, meaningful data security protections in order to prevent data breaches. If a data breach should occur, companies must be required to notify consumers and to provide remedies such as credit monitoring or credit reports. Such remedies will help consumers regain control over their private information and avoid identity theft and fraud.
In addition, any federal data breach law must dictate that companies only collect information that is necessary to their business activities. The information collected must be treated with extreme care and must be disposed of promptly after use.
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