ChoicePoint theft may usher in regulation

By David
February 24, 2005

“A major break-in at one of the nation’s largest information brokers could usher in regulation for companies that have trafficked in data unfettered for years, computer-security experts and privacy advocates say.

New York, Texas and Georgia are among states pressing for laws that mirror California’s breach law, which requires companies to notify residents if their personal information is compromised. The law, the only such one in the nation, forced ChoicePoint (CPS), an Alpharetta, Ga., data vendor, to disclose this week that personal data on about 145,000 people may have been stolen.

” If this is not an eye-opening threat to privacy, nothing is,” says Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who is readying legislation that would expand the powers of the Federal Trade Commission to oversee data brokers as it does companies that handle medical and financial records.

Last month, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., reintroduced a national version of the California law. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, on Tuesday called for congressional hearings on the matter […]”