On September 27, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law an amendment to California’s breach notification law (Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.82). Effective January 1, 2014, under the amended law, the definition of “Personal Information” will be expanded to include “a user name or email address, in combination with a password or security question and answer that would permit access to an online account.” Additionally, new notification options have been added to address a breach of this type of information.
By Jeffrey D. Neuburger and Sara Krauss
Congress has been dithering over the adoption of a federal data security breach notice law for the last several years without coming to an agreement on a national standard for reporting breaches in the security of personal and financial data, but on February 17, data breach notice provisions applicable to health information were signed into law as part of the HITECH Act provisions of the massive economic stimulus legislation, H.R. 1 (111th Cong., 1st Sess. Feb. 17, 2009).
Beginning no later than September 16 of this year, “covered entities” under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will be required to give notice of breaches in the security of protected health information, and “business associates” of HIPAA-covered entities will be required to report such breaches to the covered entities. §13402(a) & (b). Currently, California and Arkansas are the only states that require that notification be given in the case of a breach in the security of medical or health insurance information.