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Free Credit Monitoring for Data Breach Victims Set for Enactment

            Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (R-24) to strengthen notification requirements for data breaches and provide affected citizens with free credit monitoring and a credit report is set to be signed into law.

            Senate Bill 824, introduced with Sen. Jimmy Dillon (D-5), was approved by the House of Representatives this week, following Senate passage last year.

            It would provide citizens affected by a data breach a free credit report and a year of credit monitoring while they recover. The bill also strengthens state notification requirements and mandates Attorney General notification if a data breach occurs in the commonwealth.

            "An unfortunate consequence of modern technology is the increased risk of cybercrimes. Such threats pose serious risks to citizens, including identity theft and loss of hard-earned money," Pennycuick said. "Victims of data breaches must deal with immediate financial hardship or the ongoing threat of theft. They need to have services available not only to monitor their financial accounts and credit, but also to restore their peace of mind. Enacting this legislation will do that."

            "Cybercrimes are a growing threat that can turn our lives upside down," said Dillon. "Senate Bill 824 is all about giving Pennsylvanians the tools they need to protect themselves when their personal information is compromised. By offering free credit reports and monitoring, we're helping people keep an eye on their financial health and regain their peace of mind. I'm proud to work alongside Sen. Pennycuick on this bipartisan effort to make our state safer for everyone."

            The measure would cover instances in which an individual's first and last name or first initial and last name have been accessed in combination with any of the following information: Social Security number, bank account number, driver's license or state ID number.

            A record 3,122 data breaches occurred nationally in 2023, affecting hundreds of millions of Americans and costing billions of dollars, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. It marked a 72% increase in data compromises from the previous all-time high in 2021. 

            The bill will be sent to the governor to be signed into law.






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