Bill to protect New Mexico customers from data breaches moves forward

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Day after day you hear about major companies getting hacked, leaving millions wondering if their information is in the wrong hands. Now, one New Mexico legislator wants to protect you and put local laws on the books for data breaches.

New Mexico is one of only three states in the nation that does not have a data breach statute. Rep. Bill Rehm hopes to change that.

“The Data Breach Notification Act,” as it’s called, would make it so that hacked companies that fear a New Mexico customer’s information is compromised have 45 days to alert them.

The bill says how the company must notify customers, and if they violate the law, it’s a $25,000 fine. It’s an issue that isn’t regulated on the federal level.

“It’s for protecting our citizens from data breach situations. I’m surprised, number one, that the federal government hasn’t taken action,” Rep. Rehm, R-Albuquerque, said.

The House passed the bill unanimously. KRQE News 13 is also told the bill has passed a Senate committee, but it still has one more committee before the Full Senate could vote on it.

Although this bill appears to have excellent traction, similar versions of this bill have failed to pass every year since 2014. Still, Rep. Rehm says he’s feeling hopeful this time around.

The other two states without data breach laws are Arkansas and South Dakota, but Rep. Rehm says both are working on passing similar legislation.

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