Illinois Taking Action on Data Security

Another week, another massive data breach - but Illinois is taking action to update its personal information security laws.

Over the past week, two more significant data breaches were announced, one from mid-atlantic insurer CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, and now the IRS. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan dubbed 2014 “The Year of the Data Breach” – so far, 2015 is giving 2014 a run for its money.

Thankfully, the Illinois Legislature is taking action to create stronger consumer protections and prevent future data breaches by passing the Illinois PIRG backed Senate Bill 1833. The bill updates the Illinois 2006 personal information security law by requiring entities that collect, store, sell and transfer private consumer information to meet a basic standard for keeping that information secure. The bill also expands information considered private to inclued geolocation data, consumer marketting data, and health insurance information.

The Illinois House passed the bill yesterday, 63-52. As the Senate passed a slightly different version in late April, the bill now goes back to the Senate, who will need to pass it again by Sunday night. Nothing’s over until its over, especially in Springfield, but we’re confident we will win final Senate passage. Credit is due to Attorney General Lisa Madigan and her staff, who championed the bill, as well as to Senate Sponsor Dan Biss and House Sponsor Ann Williams.

We don’t have a clear indication yet on whether or not Governor Rauner will sign the bill. More to come…


Abe Scarr

State Director, Illinois PIRG; Energy and Utilities Program Director, PIRG

Abe Scarr is the director of Illinois PIRG and is the PIRG Energy and Utilities Program Director. He is a lead advocate in the Illinois Capitol and in the media for stronger consumer protections, utility accountability, and good government. In 2017, Abe led a coalition to pass legislation to implement automatic voter registration in Illinois, winning unanimous support in the Illinois General Assembly for the bill. He has co-authored multiple in-depth reports on Illinois utility policy and leads coalition campaigns to reform the Peoples Gas pipe replacement program. As PIRG's Energy and Utilities Program Director, Abe supports PIRG energy and utility campaigns across the country and leads the national Gas Stoves coalition. He also serves as a board member for the Consumer Federation of America. Abe lives in Chicago, where he enjoys biking, cooking and tending his garden.