Governor Signs Bill Enhancing Data Breach Protections Following Equifax Settlement

(Albany, NY) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation that will strengthen data breach policies and protect the private data of New Yorkers.

The Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security (SHIELD) Act, S5575-B, sponsored by Senator Kevin Thomas, broadens the definition of a data breach to include unauthorized access to private information. It also updates the notification procedures that companies and state entities must follow when there has been a breach of private information. The Governor signed the bill into law today, after it passed through the State Legislature in June.

The signing follows the announcement of a $650 million settlement between the credit reporting agency Equifax, federal agencies, and U.S. states following the 2017 data breach that exposed the personal information of nearly 150 million people.

“It is critical that our laws keep pace with the rapidly changing world of technology. The SHIELD Act raises security standards so that no more New Yorkers are needlessly victimized by data breaches and cyber-attacks,” said Senator Kevin Thomas, bill sponsor and Chairman of the Committee on Consumer Protection. “I want to thank the Governor for his leadership as we work to modernize our laws and protect the personal data of all New Yorkers.”