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DMA Leads Industry Call for National Data Breach Notification Law

May 23, 2014
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Washington, DC, May 22, 2014—The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today lead a broad group of industry associations in asking Congress to pass a national data breach notification law.
 
The letter, signed by sixteen trade associations representing thousands of the leading companies across the information economy, notes that American businesses have compelling incentives to protect sensitive information and maintain valuable customer relationships—and that they work tirelessly to implement security measures to safeguard data.
 
"Businesses have compelling incentives to protect sensitive information and maintain valuable customer relationships," the letter stated.  "We need Congress to act now to enact legislation to help businesses effectively inform and ultimately protect the customers they serve when data compromises do occur."
 
Among other important provisions for a national breach notification law, the letter highlighted the vital nature of preempting the current patchwork of state laws.  "We continue to believe that meaningful data breach notification legislation must establish a clear federal standard that preempts the patchwork of state laws in this area," said the letter.  "Currently, disparate laws in 47 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, frustrate efficient and uniform breach notification to consumers."
 
For nearly a decade, DMA has supported the passage of a uniform national standard for breach notification.  Last year, DMA named the passage of a federal breach notification law as one of "Five Fundamentals for the Future" that Congress should focus on in order to protect the data-driven economy.
 
"Just last month, DMA strongly praised the White House for affirming its support for passing a national data breach notification standard," said Rachel Nyswander Thomas, DMA's vice president of government affairs.  "We will continue to work with the Administration and Congress to pass such a federal standard."
 
The full text of the letter follows:
 
May 22, 2014
 
The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
 
The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
 
Dear Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Boehner,
 
            As Congress continues to examine the issues surrounding data breach legislation, we the undersigned associations write to express our ongoing support for a uniform national standard for data breach notification. We represent thousands of the leading companies in the information economy.  Our member companies use data in responsible and innovative ways that have revolutionized the delivery of products and services to their customers and fostered many additional consumer benefits, such as virtually limitless free Web content.  In short, information and information-sharing has changed the everyday lives of most Americans and has significantly contributed to U. S. economic growth overall.
 

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