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Gov't Told To Improve Breach Notifications

DATA LOSS—U.S.

July 18, 2011

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has criticized the IRS for not notifying taxpayers quickly enough when their personal information had been compromised, nextgov reports. Draft cybersecurity legislation introduced by the Obama Administration would require companies to notify consumers affected by data breaches within 60 days. But in a sample of 100 incidents between July 2010 and February 2011, breach notification letters were sent out to victims 86 days after the fact in 20 percent of the cases. In five percent of the cases, victims weren't alerted because IRS employees failed to document those affected, and 21 percent weren't alerted because the agency didn't believe a threat existed.
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