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Fla.: New Law Strengthens Data Protections
 

By Rita Zeidner  7/16/2014
 

Human resource professionals in Florida are under more pressure than ever to safeguard confidential personal information.

A new law took effect July 1, 2014, that some say is one of the broadest and most encompassing data security breach laws in the nation. The Florida Information Protection Act of 2014 imposes on employers and other covered entities a statutory requirement to safeguard Floridians’ personal information and to report a breach to Florida Department of Legal Affairs and to consumers within 30 days (compared with the prior law's 45 days). Violators can be fined $1,000 per day for the first 30 days and $50,000 for each subsequent 30-day period under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

"Florida consumers are one step closer to better protection from data breaches that can threaten the security of their identities and wreak havoc on their finances," Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a press release.

Under the new law, “personal information” means an individual’s first name or first initial and last name in combination combined with any of the many data elements commonly collected by HR, including a social security number, passport number, driver license, bank account information or health insurance policy number.

In the event of a breach, written notice to Florida officials must include:

*A synopsis of the events surrounding the breach.

*The number of Floridians who were or potentially have been affected.

*Any services related to the breach being offered or scheduled to be offered, without charge, by the covered entity to individuals, and instructions as to how to use such services.

*The name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address of the employee or agent of the covered entity from whom additional information may be obtained about the breach.

Rita Zeidner is a freelance business writer and former senior writer for HR Magazine.

 

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