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As reported in BNA Privacy Law Watch, on March 21, 2018, South Dakota enacted the state’s first data breach notification law. The law will take effect on July 1, 2018, and includes several key provisions:

  • Definitions of Personal Information and Protected Information. The law defines personal information as a person’s first name or first initial and last name in combination with any one or more of the following data elements: (1) Social Security Number; (2) driver’s license number or other unique identification number created or collected by a government body; (3) account, credit card or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, password, routing number, PIN or any additional information that would permit access to a person’s financial account; (4) health information; and (5) an identification number assigned to a person by the person’s employer in combination with any required security code, access code, password, or biometric data generated from measurements or analysis of human body characteristics for authentication purposes. The law further defines “protected information” as (1) a username or email address in combination with a password, security question answer, or other information that permits access to an online account; and (2) account number or credit or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that permits access to a person’s financial account. Notably, the definition of “protected information” does not include a person’s name.
  • Breach Notification Requirement. The law requires notification to affected individuals (and, in certain circumstances, the Attorney General, as explained below) in the event of unauthorized acquisition of unencrypted computerized data (or encrypted computerized data and the encryption key) by any person that materially compromises the security, confidentiality or integrity of personal information or protected information.
  • Content and Method of Notice. The law does not contain content requirements for the notice. Notice may be provided (1) in writing; (2) electronically, if the notice is consistent with the provisions of E-SIGN; or (3) via substitute notice if the cost of providing notice would exceed $250,000, the number of affected individuals exceeds 500,000, or the entity does not have sufficient contact information for affected individuals. Substitute notice must consist of (1) email notice, if the entity has an email address for affected individuals; (2) conspicuous posting on the entity’s website; and (3) notification to statewide media.
  • Timing. Notification to affected individuals is required within 60 days of discovery of the breach.
  • Harm Threshold. The law contains a harm threshold, pursuant to which notification is not required if, following an appropriate investigation and notice to the Attorney General, the entity reasonably determines that the breach will not likely result in harm to the affected person(s).
  • Notice to the Attorney General. The law requires notification to the Attorney General of any breach that exceeds 250 South Dakota residents.
  • Notice to the Consumer Reporting Agencies. In the event notification to affected individuals is required, the law also requires notification to the nationwide consumer reporting agencies of the timing, distribution and content of the notice to individuals.
  • Penalties for Non-Compliance. A violation of the breach notification law is considered a deceptive act under the state’s consumer protection laws. The South Dakota Attorney General noted that this violation has the effect of creating a private right of action. In addition, the Attorney General is authorized to enforce the breach notification law and may impose a fine of up to $10,000 per day per violation.

With this enactment, Alabama remains the sole U.S. state without a breach notification law.