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Senate committee clears data breach bills

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A pair of bills that would require businesses to notify consumers in the event of a data breach cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, moving on to the full Senate for consideration.

The Data Breach Notification Act, sponsored by Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), would authorize the attorney general to bring civil actions against firms that failed to notify people whose personal information had been compromised in a breach. It would also extend notification requirements to government agencies.

The more comprehensive Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, introduced by Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and co-sponsored by Utah Republican Orrin Hatch and others, would also set notification requirements, as well as tighten criminal penalties for identity theft and willfully concealing information about a breach.

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