After recently announcing his plans to introduce several pieces of privacy and data security legislation, President Barack Obama turned his attention to cybersecurity again in his State of the Union address.
“No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids,” the President said. “I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information. If we don’t act, we’ll leave our nation and our economy vulnerable. If we do, we can continue to protect the technologies that have unleashed untold opportunities for people around the globe.”
The week before, the President paid a visit to the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Homeland Security to announce new legislation on data breach notification, cybersecurity, student privacy, and a consumer privacy Bill of Rights.
Weighing in on the State of the Union, the Interactive Advertising Bureau found some positives as well as some negatives. Executive Vice President and General Counsel Mike Zaneis said the group supports a federal data breach notification law that would preempt the various state versions, which he said shares “ideals” with the IAB.
However, he expressed concern about the proposed consumer privacy Bill of Rights, which “would make the U.S. less competitive in the global economy.”
To read the text of President Obama’s State of the Union address, click here.
Why it matters: While the future of President Obama’s various proposals remains unclear, legislators have scheduled the first hearing on the data breach notification measure. The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade will consider the bill, which includes a requirement that companies notify customers within 30 days of a breach and would preempt the current patchwork of 47 state laws. “We need a plan in place that will help prevent data from being stolen in the first place, and will also alleviate consequences for consumers if hackers are successful,” Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), chair of the subcommittee, told The Hill. “I am encouraged by the President’s recent focus on this issue and call for a national standard, and I agree.”