House of Representatives

The House of Representatives recently passed the Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 (the Act).  The Act has been moved to the Senate for consideration. The legislation sets minimum security standards for all IoT devices purchased by government agencies.

IoT refers to the myriad of physical devices that are connected to the

On January 9, 2017, lawmakers in the House re-introduced legislation, the Email Privacy Act, which, if enacted, would require the government to obtain a court-issued warrant to access electronic communications, including emails and social networking messages, from cloud providers (e.g., Google, Yahoo) when such communications are older than 180 days. Current law, the Electronic

On March 25, 2015, the United States House of Representative, Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade approved draft legislation which would replace state data breach notification laws with a national standard.  This draft legislation comes on the heels of the President’s call for a national data breach notification law.  The proposed

Under a measure passed overwhelmingly by the U.S. House of Representatives (408-13), federal contractors would be required to adopt measures established by the Office of Management and Budget to limit open network peer-to-peer file sharing software (P2P Software). Likely a response to the leakage of House and Senate ethics investigations, if the “Secure Federal

As passed by the House of Representatives on December 8, 2009, the Data Accountability and Trust Act would create federal data security standards, a national breach notification requirement, data destruction mandates, and special requirements for "information brokers." 

Thumbnail for version as of 23:34, 16 January 2008The Act will now move to the Senate, where it likely will be considered together with recent bills from various Senate Committees, two such bills we discussed in a recent post.

The Act would apply to each person engaged in interstate commerce that owns or possesses data in electronic form containing personal information (or contracts to have any third party entity maintain such data). In short, most businesses in the United States would be subject to the Act and required to establish and implement data security policies and procedures. Like other data security regulations, the Act would permit covered persons, when developing their policies and procedures, to take into account:

  • the size of, and the nature, scope, and complexity of the activities engaged in by, such person;
  • the current state of the art in administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for protecting such information; and
  • the cost of implementing such safeguards.

These new standards will be regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Violations of the Act would be enforced primarily by state Attorneys General, although the FTC maintains a right to intervene in those actions. Penalties can be substantial. For example, in the case of a violation of the breach notification requirement, the penalty amount would be calculated by multiplying the number of violations by an amount not greater than $11,000. Each failure to send notification would be treated as a separate violation, with a maximum civil penalty of $5,000,000.

Of course, it will be some time before the Act would become effective, if at all, and it may be substantially modified prior to enactment. Still, recent actions by Congress (for example the enhancements to HIPAA under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) and the states suggest a national standard for protecting personal information is only a matter of time. Companies should be gearing up to deal with these emerging information risks.


Continue Reading House of Representatives Passes the Data Accountability and Trust Act