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Schneiderman pushes for new data laws, 9 million NYers had data exposed in 2017

Ryan Delaney
WRVO News File Photo
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

More than nine million New Yorkers had their personal data exposed last year according to a new report from state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. That is more than four times the number of New Yorkers impacted in 2016. The vast majority of the exposed data in 2017 came from the breach at consumer reporting agency Equifax.

Schneiderman said the state’s current data security law is outdated and toothless. He is pushing for the legislature to pass the SHIELD Act, which he introduced last fall. The law would impose requirements on companies to provide safeguards for data and raise fines for businesses that do not meet those standards. 

"We are optimistic that we can get support for this this year," Schneiderman said. "It's an epidemic in this country. For New York State to have a law that simply says I can fine you a few thousand dollars for delay in reporting, that's a 2005 law that is very far behind the times in terms of technology, in terms of the work of data thieves."

Schneiderman said he also wants legislation that would require social media companies like Facebook to notify his office and consumers when they learn of personal data being misused. The New York and Massachusetts attorneys general are investigating Facebook’s connection with the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which is accused of improper personal data possession of more than 50 million Facebook users.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.