NATSO, Trade Associations Press for Uniform Data Breach Law

NATSO joined trade associations representing more than a million businesses in telling Congress that any new federal law on data breach notification should apply to all industries that handle consumer data.

“To protect consumers comprehensively, wherever breaches occur, Congress should ensure that any federal breach notification law applies to all affected industry sectors and leaves no holes in our system that would enable some industries to keep the fact of their breaches secret,” 11 industry associations said in a Feb. 13 letter to Congress.

The letter, which was sent to every member of Congress, also was submitted for the record for a Feb. 14 hearing by the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit examining the current data security and breach notification regulatory regime.

The letter asked for a uniform national law to replace existing state laws, reasonable data security standards, Federal Trade Commission enforcement, and a requirement that all breached entities be obligated to notify consumers when they suffer a breach of sensitive information that creates a risk of identity theft or financial harm.

The four key principles would ensure that any data security legislation advanced in Congress does not unfairly burden businesses or pick regulatory winners and losers among differing business sectors.

Signatories included NATSO, American Hotel & Lodging Association; International Franchise Association; National Association of Convenience Stores; National Association of Realtors; National Council of Chain Restaurants; National Grocers Association; National Retail Federation; Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America; and the U.S. Travel Association.

The letter noted that more than 80 percent of all breaches take place in industries other than those signing the letter.

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