New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is asking state lawmakers to significantly enhance consumer data security laws.

Current laws are too weak; the state presently does not directly require companies to implement security to protect consumer data; and if a breach happens, a company is required to notify affected consumers only if “private information” is compromised, Schneiderman says in a statement. The problem is that “private information” does not include email addresses, passwords, medical history, health insurance information and security questions, among other categories.

In proposed legislation soon to be sent to the state legislature, Schneiderman seeks to include the above information as well as biometric data in the definition of “private information.”

“Our new law will be the strongest, most comprehensive in the nation,” he tells lawmakers. “Let’s act now to make our state a national model for data privacy and security.” State attorneys general often copy from colleagues’ initiatives in other states, including data security. Other provisions of the proposed New York legislation include:

* All entities collecting or storing private information should be required to implement specific administrative, technical and physical safeguards.

* Entities obtaining a third-party audit demonstrating compliance with a heightened level of security would be granted a safe harbor that could include a presumption of having reasonable data security in the event of litigation.

* Entities with a breach should be incented with a hold harmless provision to share forensic reports with law enforcement agencies. “This would allow companies to feel comfortable with the free sharing of information while giving authorities a better chance at catching those responsible.”

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Health Data Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access