2011 California Code
DIVISION 3. OBLIGATIONS [1427 - 3272.9]
ARTICLE 7. Accounting of Disclosures
(a) Any agency that owns or licenses computerized data that includes personal information shall disclose any breach of the security of the system following discovery or notification of the breach in the security of the data to any resident of California whose unencrypted personal information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by an unauthorized person. The disclosure shall be made in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay, consistent with the legitimate needs of law enforcement, as provided in subdivision (c), or any measures necessary to determine the scope of the breach and restore the reasonable integrity of the data system.
(b) Any agency that maintains computerized data that includes personal information that the agency does not own shall notify the owner or licensee of the information of any breach of the security of the data immediately following discovery, if the personal information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by an unauthorized person.
(c) The notification required by this section may be delayed if a law enforcement agency determines that the notification will impede a criminal investigation. The notification required by this section shall be made after the law enforcement agency determines that it will not compromise the investigation.
(d) Any agency that is required to issue a security breach notification pursuant to this section shall meet all of the following requirements:
(1) The security breach notification shall be written in plain language.
(2) The security breach notification shall include, at a minimum, the following information:
(A) The name and contact information of the reporting agency subject to this section.
(B) A list of the types of personal information that were or are reasonably believed to have been the subject of a breach.
(C) If the information is possible to determine at the time the notice is provided, then any of the following: (i) the date of the breach, (ii) the estimated date of the breach, or (iii) the date range within which the breach occurred. The notification shall also include the date of the notice.
(D) Whether the notification was delayed as a result of a law enforcement investigation, if that information is possible to determine at the time the notice is provided.
(E) A general description of the breach incident, if that information is possible to determine at the time the notice is provided.
(F) The toll-free telephone numbers and addresses of the major credit reporting agencies, if the breach exposed a social security number or a driver s license or California identification card number.
(3) At the discretion of the agency, the security breach notification may also include any of the following:
(A) Information about what the agency has done to protect individuals whose information has been breached.
(B) Advice on steps that the person whose information has been breached may take to protect himself or herself.
(e) Any agency that is required to issue a security breach notification pursuant to this section to more than 500 California residents as a result of a single breach of the security system shall electronically submit a single sample copy of that security breach notification, excluding any personally identifiable information, to the Attorney General. A single sample copy of a security breach notification shall not be deemed to be within subdivision (f) of Section 6254 of the Government Code.
(f) For purposes of this section, breach of the security of the system means unauthorized acquisition of computerized data that compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of personal information maintained by the agency. Good faith acquisition of personal information by an employee or agent of the agency for the purposes of the agency is not a breach of the security of the system, provided that the personal information is not used or subject to further unauthorized disclosure.
(g) For purposes of this section, personal information means an individual s first name or first initial and last name in combination with any one or more of the following data elements, when either the name or the data elements are not encrypted:
(1) Social security number.
(2) Driver s license number or California Identification Card number.
(3) Account number, credit or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that would permit access to an individual s financial account.
(4) Medical information.
(5) Health insurance information.
(h) (1) For purposes of this section, personal information does not include publicly available information that is lawfully made available to the general public from federal, state, or local government records.
(2) For purposes of this section, medical information means any information regarding an individual s medical history, mental or physical condition, or medical treatment or diagnosis by a health care professional.
(3) For purposes of this section, health insurance information means an individual s health insurance policy number or subscriber identification number, any unique identifier used by a health insurer to identify the individual, or any information in an individual s application and claims history, including any appeals records.
(i) For purposes of this section, notice may be provided by one of the following methods:
(1) Written notice.
(2) Electronic notice, if the notice provided is consistent with the provisions regarding electronic records and signatures set forth in Section 7001 of Title 15 of the United States Code.
(3) Substitute notice, if the agency demonstrates that the cost of providing notice would exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000), or that the affected class of subject persons to be notified exceeds 500,000, or the agency does not have sufficient contact information. Substitute notice shall consist of all of the following:
(A) E-mail notice when the agency has an e-mail address for the subject persons.
(B) Conspicuous posting of the notice on the agency s Internet Web site page, if the agency maintains one.
(C) Notification to major statewide media and the Office of Information Security within the California Technology Agency.
(j) Notwithstanding subdivision (i), an agency that maintains its own notification procedures as part of an information security policy for the treatment of personal information and is otherwise consistent with the timing requirements of this part shall be deemed to be in compliance with the notification requirements of this section if it notifies subject persons in accordance with its policies in the event of a breach of security of the system.
(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 197, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2012.)
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