The wireless industry is lining up to support Sen. Pat Toomey's, R-Pa., Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2012 introduced late last week.
Toomey's bill would require companies to notify consumers if personal information is stolen. After companies like Sony, Citibank, and others have suffered massive data breaches and bills already passed to protect consumer data since 2003 have failed to do enough, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee approved its own data-breach legislation last year. Some Democrats said the bill could undermine privacy laws.
"A number of recent high-profile data breaches combined with the messy patchwork of 46 different state laws highlight how difficult it is for consumers to know their personal information is secure," Toomey said in a statement, adding that a federal law would provide certainty for businesses and eliminate the burden of complying with varying standards and laws.
Tim McKone, executive vice president of Federal Relations at AT&T, said in a statement: “The security of our customers’ personal information is of utmost importance to us and is a priority in how we conduct our business. That is why we are pleased by Senator Toomey’s thoughtful and comprehensive bill, the ‘Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2012.’ It is a common sense bill that will eliminate uncertainties and ultimately consumer confusion by establishing uniform requirements."
The CTIA also supported the bill in a statement. The organization's vice president of government affairs, Jot Carpenter, said, "CTIA welcomes the introduction of Senator Toomey's bill. By advancing a proposal that offers a comprehensive, uniform approach to data security and breach notification, Senator Toomey demonstrates that it is possible to protect consumers while providing clear, consistent guidelines to businesses."