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September 9, 2011

US Senator introduces bill to protect online users from hack attacks

Bill proposes punishment for companies found to be negligent with user information

By CBR Staff Writer

Democrat of Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal has introduced a new bill that, if enacted, will protect the personal information of users from online data breaches.

The New York Times has reported that the new bill would also make it a punishable offence if companies are found to be careless with customers’ information.

The Senator believes that most of the data breaches are caused due to negigence of conpanies that store personal information.

"The goal of the proposed law is essentially to hold accountable the companies and entities that store personal information and personal data and to deter data breaches,"

Senator Blumenthal told the NYT, "While looking at past data breaches, I’ve been struck with how many are preventable."

Acording to the report, if the bill is passed new regulations would be introduced for companies that store online data for over 10,000 people.

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The Senator said that the massive hack attack of Sony’s PSN this April — in which personal information of millions of users are believed to have been compromised – shows the importance to protect users from hack attacks.

"The Sony data breach has became a poster child of why we need this law," Blumenthal said.

"We were working on this legislation well before that data breach occurred, but Sony is a good example of why this law should exist."

Earlier, the FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz had advocated a ‘Do Not Track’ mechanism for browsers and websites to prevent Internet users from having their online activities monitored.

FTC had also warned about the data breaches in P2P sites including personal information about customers or employees and had sent letters to almost 100 organisations in February this year.

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