HARRISBURG – A bipartisan pair of bills to help Pennsylvania consumers affected by data breaches was approved by the state House on Tuesday. These bills are sponsored by Commerce Committee Chairman Brian Ellis (R-Butler) and Rep. Mike Driscoll (D-Philadelphia).
Ellis’ House Bill 1846
would amend the Breach of Personal Information Act to further define “breach of security of the system” and “personal information” for clarification. The bill would require notice to residents of the Commonwealth whenever there is a breach of security of the system. The notice must be in plain language, and include the date of the breach, the type of information subject to the breach and toll-free numbers to credit reporting agencies. This notice must be made within 45 days of learning of a breach.
In addition, the breach must be reported to the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of the Attorney General. If a state agency is the subject of a breach, the agency must provide notice of the breach to residents of the Commonwealth without unreasonable delay. An agency under the governor’s jurisdiction shall provide notice of the breach to the governor’s Office of Administration. If a county, school district or municipality is the subject of a breach, it must provide notice of the breach to residents without unreasonable delay as well. A county, school district or municipality shall report its breach to the county district attorney in which the breach occurred.
“These bipartisan bills were introduced in the fall, following a very large data breach of Equifax, when it was originally estimated that more than 5 million Pennsylvanians had their personal information compromised,” Ellis explained. “As always, these bills contain precautionary measures; we hope another breach doesn’t occur, but if it does, we want to make sure Pennsylvanians are safeguarded. That’s what these bills aim to do.”
Driscoll’s House Bill 1847
would waive the current credit freeze fee, which charges up to $10 per account. In the instance of a data breach, consumers would be provided with three years of free credit monitoring. None of these would apply to a credit reporting agency that has not experienced a breach.
“We have learned that the Equifax breach has affected millions more consumers than was first reported,” Driscoll said. “That is all the more reason why these bipartisan consumer protection bills are needed.”
The bills now go to the Senate. For more information about this legislation, or any other state-related issue, contact Ellis’ district office in Lyndora located at 6 Chesapeake St., Suite 200, by calling 724-283-5852. Information can also be found online at RepEllis.com
, or Facebook.com/RepEllis
Representative Brian Ellis
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin