New bill headed to Congress could increase penalties for companies who cover up breaches

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) The recent data breaches from Equifax and Uber have spurred the introduction of some new legislation. Cybersecurity expert Robert Jorgensen, joined Emily Clark with more information on what’s happening right now in Washington.

Jorgensen says it was recently reported that Uber concealed a massive data breach of over a year, paying hackers $100,000 to conceal the breach. In response to this and other breaches, Senator Nelson of Florida has introduced a new bill that provides some pretty severe penalties for executives that cover up breaches.

Certain breaches would have civil penalties of $1,000 per person affected, up to 100,000 per day. There is a maximum penalty of $1,00,000, unless it was willful and intentional. In that case, it would be up to another $1,000,000. Additionally, executives who are responsible for concealing data breaches could face up to five years in prison for failing to disclose.

While it is too early to say whether the bill will advance through congress, that this does indicate is that elected officials are losing faith that businesses will do the “right thing” when it comes to protecting our data. 

As more and more devices collect even more information about us, protecting our data is going to be critical to consumer’s trust in these devices.

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