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House panel guts security breach notice provision to curtail ID theft

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005

House Subcommittee Guts Consumer Notice Protections in Data Brokers Bill

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Consumers Union and U.S. PIRG today expressed disappointment with a House Commerce subcommittee’s failure to include important consumer privacy protections during a markup of the so-called Data Accountability and Trust Act.

“This bill lets giant data companies off the hook by not requiring them to tell individuals when their personal information has been breached,” said Susanna Montezemolo, policy analyst for Consumers Union. “None of the dozens of security breaches reported in 2005 would have required notification under this bill,” she added.

“States that have stronger laws that require companies to notify consumers of such security breaches would be gutted under this measure,” said Ed Mierzwinski, director of consumer protection for U.S. PIRG. “Consumers would be worse off than they are today,” he added.

“We urge the full committee to fix the bill so that consumers have real tools to help protect their financial privacy and to fight against identity thieves,” added Montezemolo.

For more information on this measure, go to: www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_financial_services/002828.html#more.

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Contacts:

Susanna Montezemolo, CU, 202-462-6262
Ed Mierzwinski, US PIRG, 202-546-9707