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Langevin Unveils Package of Consumer Protection Legislation

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

 

Congressman Jim Langevin

Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin has announced legislation designed to protect consumers from both identity theft and cyber crimes. 

“Americans are increasingly reliant on technology and are quick to trust online networks with personal financial data and private information, including health care records. However, the great economic efficiencies tied to innovative use of these data come with risks, and the public and private sectors must commit to doing everything possible to mitigate those risks and protect consumer information,” Langevin said. “Securing our networks and closing the aperture of vulnerability is a complex challenge that needs to be tackled from many directions.”

Langevin is the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, and was joined today by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, and RI State Police Colonel Steven O'Donnell.

The legislation itself is a set of three bills. The first is the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act of 2015. The act would mandate that companies inform consumers within the first 30 days of discovery that their personal information has been hacked. The second bill is the Protect Child from Theft Act, which would allow parents to create protected, frozen credit files for their children in order to protect them from identity theft.  And finally, there is the Cybercrime Anti-Resale Deterrent Extraterritoriality Revision (CARDER) Act. This piece of legislation would make it easier for law enforcement to identify, arrest, and prosecute both hackers and criminals who appropriate and trade in stolen credit cards, respectively.

“The insidious effects of cyber espionage, commercial hacks and the theft of intellectual property are already causing great harm to our nation’s competitiveness and online consumer safety,” Langevin continued. “I believe this package of legislation will be a major step forward in combatting cyber threats, improving consumer confidence and building the foundation for a more secure America.”

 “Not too many years ago, identity theft was primarily a result of someone going through your trash and gaining access to your personal information to open a credit card in your name. Today, identity theft can happen at every turn: it can happen when we shop online, it can happen when we shop at retail locations, it can happen when we file our taxes online. We need stronger laws to protect the consumer, and we need to give law enforcement the right tools to be able to go after these cyber criminals. The legislation proposed by Congressman Langevin will go a long way to do just that,” said Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, who serves as chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Consumer Protection Committee.

"One of the pieces of legislation being introduced by Congressman Langevin addresses children. On a national level, identity theft of children is especially difficult to detect. 'The Protect Children from Theft Act' would help protect our most vulnerable citizens from becoming victims of identity theft,” said Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

 Langevin hopes to soon pass another bill, the Executive Cyberspace Coordination Act, which was initially introduced in 2010. The act would create a new position in the Executive Office of the President - the National Office for Cyberspace - that would supervise federal information security policies and practices.

“Cyber attacks threaten everything from our personal privacy to our national security, and we must take action,” said Whitehouse. “Congressman Langevin recognizes how serious this is for Rhode Island businesses and consumers, and no one has fought harder for improvements to our cybersecurity. These bills are just the latest example of his commitment to protecting our country from cyber attacks, and I thank him for his work.” 

 

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