Privacy Alert: Virginia: The 40th State

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On March 17, 2008, the Commonwealth of Virginia joined 39 other states in enacting data breach notification laws, with Governor Tim Kaine’s signature on the latest data breach notification legislation in the country.

Beginning on July 1, 2008, individuals or entities that own or license computerized data that includes personal information of Virginia residents will be required to notify consumers, the Attorney General of Virginia, and in certain situations consumer reporting agencies when unencrypted or unredacted personal information was or is accessed and acquired by an unauthorized person and causes, or it is reasonably believed that it has or will cause identity theft or another fraud to Virginia residents.

There are two significant differences from other state data breach notification laws:

.Violations of the law are enforceable by the Attorney General which may impose civil penalties of up to $150,000.

. Virginia also has included a private right of action for aggrieved individuals.

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