PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

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Data Security Laws, the States, and Federalism

Federalism and Privacy

Remember well over a year ago, when last February ChoicePoint announced it had a major data security breach? Since then hundreds of breaches have been announced — over 200 instances involving data on 88 million people. Several bills were proposed in Congress; many Senators and Representatives quickly emphasized the importance of privacy and data security. And after all this time, what has Congress produced? Nothing.

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ChoicePoint: More Than 145,000 Victims?

ChoicePoint Data Breach

ChoicePoint just won’t be outdone. They were, after all, the company that started all the extensive attention on data security breaches. Back in February 2005, ChoicePoint announced that it had improperly sold personal data on about 145,000 people to identity thieves. Pursuant to a California data security breach notice law, ChoicePoint notified the affected individuals in California. Soon afterwards, many states started thinking: Geez, we’d like our citizens to be informed too. They put up a fuss, and ChoicePoint voluntarily agreed to notify all of the 145,000 people it said were affected. Many states subsequently passed data security breach notification laws similar to California’s.

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