Data breaches are a growing problem in Massachusetts

Obama released his proposal to help protect your info

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – From Target to Home Depot, 2014 was no stranger to data breaches.

On Monday, President Obama issued a new bill aimed at protecting shoppers. He said, “Under the new standard that we’re proposing, companies would have to notify consumers of a breach within 30 days.”

Currently, breach notification varies state by state. In Massachusetts, there is no deadline, the law simply requires a company to notify you of a breach “as soon as practicable and without unreasonable delay.”

It’s a law that makes some shoppers skeptical. “Its bad publicity for them, so they’re not going to want to rush and tell everyone what happened. It’s not fair,” said Stephanie Morris of Chicopee. “People have to be aware of what’s going on with their own money and their credit cards.”

Here in Massachusetts specifically, data breaches are a growing problem. In 2008, 384 data breach notifications were issued. However, five years later in 2013, that number nearly tripled to more than 1,100.

President Obama is also proposing a consumer privacy bill of rights, which would allow you to choose what information of yours is stored or collected and how it’s used.

“People think twice about using their credit cards online or even browsing,” said Donna Clark of Chicopee. “It be nice to have a little privacy.”

A student data privacy act is also on the table, which would prevent information collected in classrooms from being sold to marketing companies.

Monday’s speech is just a preview of proposals the president will formally outline in his state of the union address later this month.

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