Hood wants stronger identity protection

JACKSON — Some recent high profile data breaches beg for stronger laws in Mississippi, says Attorney General Jim Hood.

“Mississippi is one of the few states that does not have a security breach notification law,” said Hood. “We currently have a bill pending, House Bill 583, that would require such.”

House Bill 583 would require a business or state agency to notify individuals if the individual’s personal information (i.e social security number, bank account number) has been improperly acquired.

Recently, Hancock Fabrics announced that some data in eight states may have been compromised. Other high-profile companies such as ChoicePoint, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods Stores have also self-reported data breaches over recent years.

When the issue was first brought to the forefront by the ChoicePoint breaches in February 2005, California was the only state that had a security breach notification law. Since then, 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have enacted legislation requiring notification of security breaches involving personal information.

“Right now, Mississippi is completely dependant upon companies to self-report,” said Hood. “Fortunately most do, but we need this law in place to make reporting mandatory.”

The Senate amended the original version of the bill, which is now back in the House where the House will either concur or invite conference.

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