Mississippi Needs Stronger Law on Data Breaches
March 10, 2010

Contact: Jan Schaefer
Public Information Officer

Jackson, MS–Some recent high profile data breaches beg for stronger
laws in Mississippi, notes Attorney General Jim Hood today.

“Mississippi is one of the few states that does not have a security
breach notification law,” said Attorney General Jim Hood. “We currently
have a bill pending, House Bill 583, that would require such.”

House Bill 583 would require a business or state agency to notify
individuals if the individual’s personal information (i.e social
security number, bank account number) has been improperly acquired.

Recently, Hancock Fabrics announced that some data in eight states may
have been compromised. Other high profile companies such as ChoicePoint,
T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods Stores have also self-reported data
breaches over recent years.

When the issue was first brought to the forefront by the ChoicePoint
breaches in February 2005, California was the only state that had a
security breach notification law. Since then, 45 states, the District of
Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have enacted legislation
requiring notification of security breaches involving personal
information.

“Right now, Mississippi is completely dependant upon companies to
self-report,” said Attorney General Hood. “Fortunately most do, but we
need this law in place to make reporting mandatory.”

The Senate amended the original version of the bill, which is now back
in the House where the House will either concur or invite conference.

Mississippi residents are urged to contact their lawmakers immediately
and encourage them to vote for the original measure of House Bill 583
proposed by the Attorney General.