“The time is now,” says BSA’s Holleyman in House testimony
WASHINGTON — June 15, 2011 —
Congress should pass a national data security and breach notification bill as soon as possible to build trust in digital commece and encourage the growth of cloud computing, Business Software Alliance (BSA) President and CEO Robert Holleyman said Wednesday in testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“This is now the fourth Congress to consider data breach legislation,” said Holleyman. “The time to act is now. The need is clear, as are the solutions.”
Holleyman’s comments came at a hearing to discuss draft legislation being introduced by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade.
Holleyman endorsed key provisions of the draft legislation, saying: “The bill requires organizations that hold sensitive personal information to implement reasonable security procedures, taking into account an organization’s size, the scope of its activities, and the costs involved. It creates incentives to adopt strong security measures by promoting the use of technologies such as encryption, which render data unusable, unreadable, or indecipherable to thieves if they manage to steal it. And it requires notifying consumers when there is a significant risk of identity theft, fraud or unlawful activity.”
Noting that more than 2,500 data breaches have been recorded since 2005, Holleyman said: “Surveys find that these breaches cause consumers to question the security of online transactions. That is especially troubling because we are in the middle of an exciting new wave of innovation with the emergence of cloud computing. We cannot allow breaches to erode confidence in the Internet economy.”
“In the absence of a national law, all but a handful of states have already enacted their own data breach notification requirements,” said Holleyman. “Unfortunately, this has created a legal patchwork that risks shaking public confidence even further because it is unwieldy for businesses and confusing to consumers. We need a uniform, national framework that protects consumers and promotes adoption of effective security measures. I urge Congress to pass a federal data breach law this year.”
The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of nearly 100 world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.
Jordan Lubowitz, 202-326-1776