- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The need for federal laws that would protect consumers from the effects of identity theft and data breaches is more pressing than ever, as Americans are becoming increasingly reliant on technology - and increasingly vulnerable to cybercrime - state officials said Tuesday.

“A week doesn’t go by we don’t hear about some new data breach,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin on Tuesday, as he unveiled three new bills to increase consumer protection.

Langevin was joined by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Rhode Island State Police Col. Steven O’Donnell, who all agreed the bills would give lawmakers the tools to protect consumers - and prosecute the criminals who commit cybercrimes.

Whitehouse said one bill in particular - the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act of 2015 - would require businesses that are hit with data breaches to be “more proactive,” which would better protect consumers. The bill would require the businesses to disclose data breaches within 30 days of their discovery - and the clock would start ticking as soon as the breach is detected.

The Protect Children from Theft Act would enable parents and guardians to protect their children from identity theft, Langevin said. Minors are particularly vulnerable to identity theft because, unlike adults, their credit is not typically monitored.

The third bill - the Cybercrime Anti-Resale Deterrent Extraterritoriality Revision (CARDER) Act - would allow law enforcement to prosecute criminals who act as “middlemen” by stealing credit card information and then selling it.

“Cybersecurity is a challenge to be managed,” Langevin said. “There is no silver bullet.”

The Democrat from Rhode Island is a co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, which aims to increase awareness of cybersecurity challenges, which has been a hallmark of Langevin’s legislative work in the House of Representatives over the past decade.

Langevin said he will introduce the bills next week in Washington.

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