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Target brings opportunities for NAID, data protection

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Jan. 15, 2014

It remains to be seen whether the Target data breach announced in December will result in meaningful data protection regulation. However, the magnitude (originally estimated at 40 million, now it could be as high as 110 million) and timing of it just before the holidays certainly seems to be creating a lot of commotion in the D.C. beltway.

Seemingly within hours of the breach, high ranking Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) reintroduced a data protection bill he sponsored previously which originally failed to get traction. Shortly after, the influential Politico magazine interviewed NAID CEO Bob Johnson about the historic obstacles to developing a national data protection law and whether the Target incident could overcome those obstacles.

“It’s as scary as it is promising,” said Johnson. “If Congress pushes through a narrow law aimed at national breach notification, cyber security and criminalization of data hacking, we will have made little progress and missed the opportunity to create an overarching data protection law for the country. It will just be one more acronym to keep track of. The idea should be to create one national law that definitively protects and assigns accountability within every organization for any and all personal information in their custody.”