Gov. John Carney and members of the general assembly announced legislation May 18 that would expand protections for Delawareans affected by computer security breaches.

The bipartisan legislation, House Bill 180, is sponsored by Rep. Paul Baumbach. Additional sponsors include Sens. David Sokola, Ernesto Lopez and Brian Pettyjohn; and Reps. Stephanie T. Bolden and Deborah Hudson.

“This legislation would provide additional, common sense protections for Delawareans whose personal information may be compromised in a cybersecurity breach,” Carney said. “We live in a world where these types of breaches are becoming more common, and we should enact additional safeguards for all Delawareans who may be affected. Thank you to Rep. Baumbach and all members of the general assembly who are taking on this important issue.”

The legislation would increase cybersecurity protections for Delawareans by requiring businesses to safeguard personal information and to provide notice to Delawareans affected by a breach within 60 days of discovering the breach. In the event the affected class exceeds 500 residents, the attorney general must be notified.

The legislation also requires breached entities to provide a year’s worth of identity protection services to affected residents, if Social Security numbers were compromised. Delaware would become just the second state to extend identity theft protection services, by law, to residents affected by a security breach.

“I am pleased to have been able to work with colleagues, members of the governor's team and members of the technology branch of the Delaware bar to enable Delaware to play catch-up, if not leapfrog, on consumer notifications and protections when there are security breaches of your personal identification. Unfortunately these breaches are becoming too common and often involve a large number of victims,” bill sponsor Baumbach said. “House Bill 180 will improve the notification requirements and ensure that in cases where Social Security numbers are breached, victims receive one-year of identity theft mitigation services. There is more to do, but this bill puts Delaware back on track to ensure better protection for our residents against identity theft due to data breaches.”