Blunt bill aims to promote data security

A bipartisan measure that would enact new safeguards to protect consumer information stored by businesses and government agencies from security breaches was introduced on Wednesday by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.).

The Data Security Act of 2014 would require financial institutions, retailers, federal agencies and other entities to enhance data security, investigate breaches and notify consumers of any risk of identity theft or fraud.

The measure would replace a patchwork of state data security laws with a federal standard.

“New technologies pose new opportunities – as well as new security challenges,” Blunt said. “As recent headlines have once again reminded us, now is the time to strengthen our nation’s data security and defend consumers against data breaches by both businesses and government agencies. I’m glad to work with Sen. Carper again as we continue our bipartisan effort to create consistent, national standards to better protect consumers and businesses from identity theft and account fraud.”

The Data Security Act would apply to businesses that make credit or debit card transactions, data brokers that compile information and government agencies that store nonpublic personal information.

Entities would also be required to report data breaches involving more than 5,000 consumers to law enforcement and federal agencies.

The legislation was modeled after the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act of 1999 and builds on existing laws to ensure data security uniformity.