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Beiser backing legislation to increase data security

From Illinois Business Journal news services

SPRINGFIELD – The increase in the amount of personal information being shared electronically has prompted a bill to enhance the protection of personal data in Illinois.

“All too often we hear reports of major data breaches and warnings to consumers to guard their credit card and social security information closely,” said state Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, who is a co-sponsor. “As hospitals and doctors’ offices switch to electronic record keeping and more cell phones begin using fingerprint data, it is important to make sure that these forms of personal information are protected by law.”

Senate Bill 1833 expands the definition of “personal information” protected under the Personal Information Protection Act. Under the proposed legislation, medical information, health insurance information, fingerprint and retina images, geolocation information, and usernames and passwords would be protected. Additionally, the measure requires that companies, hospitals and other entities that collect private information must notify consumers that their personal data is being collected and obligates data collectors to notify the Office of the Attorney General’s in the event of a breach.

“Community members go to great lengths to protect their personal information,” Beiser added. “However, when their best efforts are not enough, it is important for a system to be in place to report data breaches and help consumers secure their information.”

The measure was first introduced in the Senate where it has been approved. On Wednesday, the bill was still picking up co-sponsors in the House and has not yet been set for debate.

For more information, contact Beiser’s office at (618) 465-5900.

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