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Rep. Ann Williams Stands Up for Consumers with Data Security Bill

CHICAGO-- Last week, Rep. Ann Williams (D) of Chicago joined forces with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and introduced HB3188 to bolster identify theft prevention and protection.

A recent report by the Office of the Attorney General which listed the top ten consumer complaints of 2014 found identify protection to be among the top concerns of Illinois residents. Data breaches throughout Illinois and the U.S. have continued to grow in occurrence and severity, while information about these breaches to consumers has not kept up.

“After the massive data breaches last year, it’s clear we need to do more to protect our most sensitive personal information,” Williams said. “People need to know when their information has been breached so they can take the necessary steps to mitigate the damage.”

Williams was an Assistant Attorney General and Legislative Director to Lisa Madigan in 2005 when Illinois’ Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) originally passed. This legislation was an important first step in requiring entities to provide notification of data breaches to consumers; however, since then the amount of sensitive information collected has grown and the need for a stronger law to protect consumers from identity theft has become clear.

The new data security bill will broaden the definition of personal information, expand the requirements for a company to notify consumers of a breach, and increase the availability of public notices through the Attorney General. The bill would also help protect consumers by requiring companies that acquire sensitive information to take “reasonable” steps to protect that information.

“This report highlights the fear citizens of Illinois face in light of data security breaches,” said Williams. “I introduced this legislation because I believe it is an important and necessary step to protecting consumers’ sensitive information and privacy.”

Read the Office of the Attorney General’s Press release here: