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Cyber Crime Continues to Plague Arizona

We reported in our blog last year (Arizona Ranks High in Cyber Crime) that Arizonans were in the top tier of Americans when it came to being victims of cyber crime. A year later, the news in our state is even worse. In fact, according to a new study, Arizona ranks first in monetary loss from cyber crime per victim ($9,251). It also ranks fifth among the states in total monetary loss, beating out states with far larger populations. We’re not sure that there is a single cause for Arizona’s infamous spot on the cyber crime list – the number of senior citizens who are not internet savvy has been pointed to by some – but the state has been trying to do something about it.

New Cyber Crime Legislation in Arizona

In April 2018, Governor Ducey signed a new law which attempts to strengthen existing legislation on data breaches. Here are some of the changes:

  • The definition of “personal information” has been expanded.
  • Companies whose data has been breached are required to notify affected individuals within 45 days.
  • Notification to the big three consumer reporting agencies is required if the data breach affects more than 1,000 people.
  • Civil penalties for violating the statute have been increased.
  • What’s Missing from the New Law?

Of course, the law doesn’t really reach the heart of the problem. It only deals, for the most part, with how a data breach is handled once it happens. While this may have some effect on those entrusted with our personal identifying information, the central issue, many believe, is getting these companies to increase the level of their security practices. Not all the problems can be blamed on unsuspecting seniors, particularly massive breaches like the recent Marriott hack, involving data of more than 300 million people.

One of the larger offenders among these companies appears to be the health care industry. Others include transportation and education, but it is the health care industry that holds vast quantities of patient data. That issue is particularly important in Arizona, with its large population of seniors. Time will tell whether the health care folks will beef up their cyber security and address this huge vulnerability.

The Feldman Law Firm PLLC
1 E. Washington St #2240
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 540-7887

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