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Legislation would update privacy issues

State Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, is behind legislation calling for data privacy protection for people in their personal, business and purchasing practices.

He and colleagues in the Senate in 2020 introduced Senate Bill 487, which featured much needed updates to the Breach of Personal Information Notification Act from 2005.

“The bill has not been amended for 15 years,” Yaw said. “Things have changed significantly since then.”

Increasingly notable changes in technology have introduced consumers and others to sign-up pages requesting user information, creating a wall that stands between the user and the product or data being sought.

Yaw and others have noted the discomfort level and privacy issues these and other changes have introduced.

“Probably everyone has had some exposure to it to some extent,” he said.

Privacy and information in many cases, he noted, can certainly be compromised.

“We realize that we need some commonsense guidelines and measures in place to alert Pennsylvanians, and to take these data breach threats very seriously,” state Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York, said “We see the need for an annual review of policies because technology often changes faster than the law does.”

The bill failed to pass in 2020, but plans call for reintroduce the legislation in 2021.

Yaw said the bill could be given serious consideration this year.

“I think the chances are good,” he said. “It’s not a political issue.”

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