National Consumers League

NCL statement on introduction of Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015

March 13, 2015

Contact: NCL Communications, Ben Klein (202) 835-3323, benk@nclnet.org

Washington, DC -- The National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization today expressed its disappointment with the introduction by Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Rep. Peter Welch of the “Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015.” The following statement may be attributed to John Breyault, NCL vice president of public policy, telecommunications and fraud:

“At a time when millions of consumers suffer the effects of data breaches, it is disappointing that Congress would propose a bill that actually reduces consumer protections in this space. NCL supports a strong national data breach notification standard. Unfortunately, the bill proposed by Rep. Blackburn and Welch would preempt stronger existing state laws. For example, the bill covers fewer types of sensitive information, such as e-mail addresses, than many state laws.  In addition, the bill creates a disincentive for companies to notify affected consumers by instituting a ‘harm trigger’ that would enable breached companies to determine for themselves whether their customers should be notified of a breach. It is our sincere hope that this bill will be improved through the legislative process, rather that simply serving as a way for businesses to reduce their data security compliance burden. Failing that, it should be opposed as an anti-consumer measure.”

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.