HARRISBURG – The state Senate today approved bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (R-24) to strengthen notification requirements for data breaches and provide affected citizens with free credit monitoring and a credit report.
Senate Bill 824, introduced with Sen. Jimmy Dillon (D-5), would provide citizens affected by a data breach a free credit report and a year of credit monitoring while they recover. The bill also strengthens state notification requirements and mandates Attorney General notification if a data breach occurs in the commonwealth.
“The threat of having sensitive information stolen in a data breach is a reality of modern life, but it doesn’t mean citizens must be left defenseless,” Pennycuick said. “If an individual falls victim to a data breach, they should have the tools necessary to ensure that criminals are not utilizing their information to perpetrate financial crimes. This bill is a commonsense measure that will help provide security and peace of mind to victims.”
“I want to take this opportunity to thank Sen. Pennycuick for her vision and partnership on this issue,” Dillion said. “Too often our constituents feel powerless and confused when they’re notified about data breaches. By passing SB 824 today, we ensure working families have the tools they need to protect their hard-earned financial stability.”
The measure would cover instances in which an individual’s first and last name or first initial and last name have been accessed in combination with any of the following information: Social Security number, bank account number, driver’s license or state ID number.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, a record 1,862 data breaches occurred nationally in 2021, affecting hundreds of millions of Americans and costing billions of dollars. It marked a 68% increase from 2020.
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
CONTACT: Matt Szuchyt