House committee approves cyber security notification bill

Published: Jan. 24, 2014 at 12:18 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2014 at 1:04 AM EDT
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State Auditor Adam Edelen
State Auditor Adam Edelen
State Rep. Denver Butler
State Rep. Denver Butler

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - The state auditor said legislation that cleared a House committee on January 23 would give Kentucky one of the strongest cyber security laws in the country.

The bill would require governmental agencies, including the Kynect health care website and local school districts, to notify people if the agency loses their personal information or if a hacker creates a security breach.

State Auditor Adam Edelen said at least 46 other states already have this legislation, making Kentucky one of the weakest in the country right now.

"While we like to be in 'final fours' in Kentucky, let me assure you this is not a final four that we want to be in," Edelen said. "A government that collects your information has an obligation to inform you if they lose it."

Edelen warned that governmental agencies would lose significant money to remedy a breach. He also said South Carolina paid $35 million after it lost millions of tax returns in a 2012 security breach.

"It's 'pay now or pay later,'" said Edelen. "I would tell you that our investment now would be far cheaper than what we would have to pay to make something right."

Edelen couldn't estimate how much agencies would have to spend to upgrade their systems and provide notification of a breach, but said the cost would be "minimal."

Security breaches are going to continue happening because government continues to collect data and people spend so much time online, said Rep. Denver Butler (D-Louisville), one of the bill's sponsors.

"We can never build that wall high enough," Butler said. "Somebody's always trying to create the processes to protect (information) and, with that, somebody's trying to defeat it."

The bill moves to the full House, where a majority of members have already signed on to support it.

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