Obama to propose three laws to help tackle privacy and data breaches

12 Jan 2015

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US President Barack Obama

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US President Barack Obama will propose three new laws to Congress intended to help combat the recent flood of privacy and data breaches.

Retailers in America have suffered a number of high profile cyber attacks in the last 12 months, with Target, Home Depot, Staples and Sears all breached by hackers who made off with payment card data.

As reported by the BBC, the potential new laws will all relate to the way data is handled. One will make it compulsory for companies to inform customers that their personal information has been compromised within 30 days of the breach.

Another will give the public more control over what data companies gather about them, while the third will ban educational software makers from selling data they collect from students.

More details are expected to be announced by Obama later today as he speaks at the US Federal Trade Commission.

Following the Home Depot attack, the company learned that breach has been the result of a flaw in its system that grew after hackers obtained a vendor’s username and password. Once the hackers entered the perimeter of the company’s network, they were able to spread data-mining malware throughout portions of the network, resulting in one of the world’s largest ever data breaches.

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Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com