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Virginia Code § 18.2-186.6

Enacted:  3.11.2008

Type of Data Covered: Computerized or electronic data. 

Is Breach Defined?

"Breach of the security of the system" means the unauthorized access and acquisition of unencrypted and unredacted computerized data that compromises the security or confidentiality of personal information maintained by an individual or entity as part of a database of personal information regarding multiple individuals and that causes, or the individual or entity reasonably believes has caused, or will cause, identity theft or other fraud to any resident of the Commonwealth. Good faith acquisition of personal information by an employee or agent of an individual or entity for the purposes of the individual or entity is not a breach of the security of the system, provided that the personal information is not used for a purpose other than a lawful purpose of the individual or entity or subject to further unauthorized disclosure."

When is notice required?

Notice is required for all affected residents and the Attorney General "without unreasonable delay." Notice "required by this section may be delayed if, after the individual or entity notifies a law-enforcement agency, the law-enforcement agency determines and advises the individual or entity that the notice will impede a criminal or civil investigation, or homeland or national security. Notice shall be made without unreasonable delay after the law-enforcement agency determines that the notification will no longer impede the investigation or jeopardize national or homeland security." If over 1,000 residents are affected then consumer credit agencies get notified as well. There are also separate reporting requirements for employers or payroll service providers that have income tax related data. 

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

Violations have their own section of the law, § 18.2-186.6(I)-(K), which read as follows: 

  • "I.  Except as provided by subsections J and K, pursuant to the enforcement duties and powers of the Office of the Attorney General, the Attorney General may bring an action to address violations of this section. The Office of the Attorney General may impose a civil penalty not to exceed $ 150,000 per breach of the security of the system or a series of breaches of a similar nature that are discovered in a single investigation. Nothing in this section shall limit an individual from recovering direct economic damages from a violation of this section."

  • "J.  A violation of this section by a state-chartered or licensed financial institution shall be enforceable exclusively by the financial institution's primary state regulator."

  • "K.  A violation of this section by an individual or entity regulated by the State Corporation Commission's Bureau of Insurance shall be enforced exclusively by the State Corporation Commission."

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