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California Modifies Its Data Breach Laws To Improve Notification

Loeb and Loeb LLP reports that California has modified its security breach rules to expand notification. The revised law goes into effect January 1, 2012. Notification letters to consumers must include:

  • A list of the types of personal data exposed,
  • The date(s) or date range of the data breach,
  • A description of the data breach,
  • Whether or not an investigation by law enforcement delayed the notification, and
  • The toll-free phone numbers and addresses of the major credit reporting bureaus

Consumers must be notified in writing, unless law enforcement views notification as an obstacle to criminal investigations. Organizations with breaches affecting more than 500 California residents must also notify the California Attorney General's office. According to Loeb and Loeb, the organizations that must comply with Senate Bill 24:

"... any agency, person, or business that owns or licenses computerized data that includes personal information. In the event of a security breach to any California resident whose personal information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by an unauthorized person, that agency, person, or business must issue a security breach notification."

Loeb & Loeb LLP provides a variety of services for its Fortune 100 clients, including media and technology, antitrust, finance, corporate and securities, energy, and more. The firm has about 300 attorneys with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Nashville, Washington, DC, and Beijing.

These California modifications are good, because too many breach notifications lack details. More disclosure is better since it helps breach victims judge the severity of the breach. I have read several and some states post online the breach notices received by their state judicial agency.


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