Biss shedding light on identity theft

biss-idtheft-passesSPRINGFIELD - Companies today are collecting extraordinary amounts of sensitive data about consumers, and while we know that this data is being analyzed, utilized, and sold, we have no way of finding out whether it is being lost. Legislation passed out of the Senate today that will safeguard personal information in Illinois.

This data protection legislation requires companies to have reasonable security measures to protect location, marketing and health data from breaches. It also requires disclosure of breeches to consumers and to the Attorney General so that we can understand when data is being lost, and how much.

"Companies collect an incredible amount of data about their customers, in complex and extremely sensitive ways," said state Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), sponsor of the legislation. "We are at risk of having personal information about our location, purchasing habits, and health disclosed in harmful ways, and so it's critical we take proactive steps to provide for disclosure and transparency about data breaches so as to protect our personal information."

Senate bill 1833 also enables small businesses to notify local media, rather than state-wide media, when breaches occur. The legislation also holds businesses accountable by requiring them to establish reasonable security measures to safeguard sensitive personal information and display privacy policies prominently on their  websites and apps that collect personal information.

The measure now goes to the House floor for consideration.

Senator Daniel Biss


9th Senate District

Years served: 2011 - 2012 (House); 2013 - 2018 (Senate)

Committee assignments: Education; Environment and Conservation; Executive Appointments; Human Services; Labor (Chairperson); Revenue.

Biography: Full-time legislator; former University of Chicago math professor; doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and undergraduate degree from Harvard University. Served one term in the House before his election to the Senate. Resides in Evanston with his wife, Karin, and their children, Elliot and Theodore. Co-chair of a bipartisan pensions working group in the House and chair of the Digital Divide Elimination Advisory Committee.