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Consumers Union letter on S. 495

CU outlines its position on Senate Judiciary Committee's bill establishing national notice of data security breach rules.

April 24, 2007

The Honorable Patrick Leahy
Senate Judiciary Committee
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Mr. Chairman:

Consumers Union , the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, and Consumer Federation of America are pleased to support S. 495, Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2007, as accompanied by a planned amendment from the Chairman to ensure that data of the type involved in the TJX breach will require a notice of security breach. This bipartisan measure is an important step in the ongoing fight to promote data privacy and reduce the incidence of identity theft against U.S. consumers and businesses.

A report to the FTC estimated that each year there are 10 million U.S. identity theft victims. Based on this number, we estimate that there are 19 new U.S. identity theft victims every minute. Since January 2005, security breaches have been announced involving over 150 million records containing sensitive information about individuals. S. 495 addresses these stark and unpleasant facts of financial life in a balanced and effective manner.

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