Wheeler Files Bill in Response to String of Major Data Breaches

This week, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) filed legislation to ensure Illinois residents will be notified immediately if an organization or state agency that collects personal information experiences a data breach. A number of high profile data breaches have struck companies like Equifax and Uber, potentially exposing the personal information of millions of Americans to criminal theft.

“Whether it’s a government agency or a private company, they have a responsibility to keep our sensitive personal information safe because these data breaches pose serious risks to financial safety,” said Wheeler. “In the digital age, these risks have increased dramatically and we all have a right to know immediately about a breach so we can protect ourselves.”

Wheeler’s legislation, House Bill 4174, requires any organization or state agency with access to sensitive personal information to inform a person of a data breach within 48 hours. While some organizations that have experienced data breaches have worked quickly to inform people and provide recourse to protect those impacted, other have deliberately failed to do so.

It was recently discovered that ridesharing company Uber waited more than a year to report a data breach involving 57 million Americans and the company reportedly attempted to pay off the hackers to keep the incident quiet. The company is now involved in several lawsuits.

“Not being notified of a breach for several weeks or longer could cost a person thousands of dollars, or worse, so we need to take action,” said Wheeler.

For information about House Bill 4174, Click Here.

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