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Bill advances to help prevent state data breaches

Published January 30, 2013 6:46 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

SB20 • The wife of Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, was among 780,000 victims of a Utah health data security breach last March. On Wednesday, Reid passed through the Senate a bill designed to help prevent such breaches in the future.

SB20, which passed 26-0 and now goes to the House, would require the State Department of Technology Services to follow industry best practices to protect personal data, including forming a committee of experts to help it determine what those best practices are.

If the state cannot afford under current budgets to follow such best practices, the bill would require the state's chief technology officer to notify the Senate and House.

Because of the breach last year where hackers swiped Social Security numbers and other data from Health Department computers, Gov. Gary Herbert fired the director of the Department of Technology Services, and hired an ombudsman to shepherd victims through the process of protecting their identities and credit.

"Hundreds of thousands of Utahns' personal data was breached and it costs the state hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to remedy that," Reid told the Senate.

Lee Davidson