SC Bill Advances Requiring You to be Notified of Computer Securi -

SC Bill Advances Requiring You to be Notified of Computer Security Breaches

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The state is providing ID theft protection through CSID after the DOR hacking. The state is providing ID theft protection through CSID after the DOR hacking.
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A bill that would require state agencies and private businesses to notify victims of computer security breaches advanced Thursday at the Statehouse. A state Senate subcommittee passed the bill on to a full committee for more work.

Sen. Wes Hayes, R-Rock Hill, the main sponsor of the bill, says he filed it because of the security breach two years ago at the state Department of Revenue and other recent computer attacks, like the one that hit Target and its customers.

"With technology nowadays, I think there are probably going to be, unfortunately, more examples in the future," he says.

In the DOR breach, someone hacked into the agency’s computer system, accessed state tax returns and stole the information of more than 6 million people and businesses in the state.

The bill would require you to be notified after a breach with information about what happened, what information was compromised, what the agency or business is doing to protect your information from further attack, and how to contact the state Department of Consumer Affairs to get information on defending yourself against identity theft.

What’s not in the bill yet is how soon after the breach you would be notified. "The bill doesn't really address the timeliness issue, so I think that there may be an amendment when it goes to the full committee to try to put some type of timeliness, which is important,” Sen. Hayes says.

The bill also doesn’t address yet how to handle law enforcement requests to delay notification. The state didn’t let taxpayers know about the DOR hacking for more than two weeks because law enforcement said letting the public know right away would hurt the investigation and search for the hacker or hackers.

Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens, the bill’s co-sponsor, says the notification should be done by mail.

"There's too many false or fictitious scams being run, and, quite frankly, people could be victimized by a scam if it's done by phone or email or something of that nature. It would have to be regular U.S. Mail notification," he says.

Robert Kittle
Robert is the 7 On Your Side reporter covering politics and government at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C.
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