Congress introduces new legislation to protect consumer dataMortgagePress.comConsumer data protection Two bills, HR 3374 and HR 3375, have been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to increase protections for consumer financial data. HR 3374, also known as the Consumer Notification and Financial Data Protection Act of 2005, would require financial institutions to maintain reasonable procedures and policies to protect sensitive consumer financial information. In addition, financial institutions that become aware of an actual or possible breach of data security would be required to conduct an investigation. Upon conclusion of that investigation, if the financial institution determined that the security breach may result in harm or substantial inconvenience to any consumer, the financial institution must: †Promptly notify appropriate law enforcement agencies; †Promptly notify the institution's regulator; †Take measures to restore the security of the information involved in the breach; †Take measures to prevent further breaches; †Notify all critical third parties necessary to investigate the breach further or to take further actions to protect the information; and †Notify each consumer whose information was involved in the breach. The disclosure to the consumers would be required to include the date of the breach, a description of the financial institution's actions to restore security, a toll-free telephone number where the consumer may obtain additional information about the breach, a description of the information accessed and a summary of rights for victims of fraud or identity theft. Finally, a financial institution required to notify a consumer about a breach of financial data would be required to provide each consumer with free credit monitoring services for a 12-month period upon the consumer's request. HR 3375, also known as the Financial Data Security Act of 2005, would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by adding section 630, entitled "Data Security Safeguards" to FCRA. The proposed legislation is similar to HR 3372, but places the duties on a "consumer reporter," which would include a consumer reporting agency, as defined by FCRA. The bill would grant a safe harbor provision for organizations that comply with and are subject to the regulations and guidelines issued in accordance with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Both bills have been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. For a copy of HR 3374 or HR 3375, visit www.house.gov.