Important amendments to Pennsylvania’s data breach law – the Breach of Personal Information Notification Act (“BPIN” or the “Act”) – will take effect May 2, 2023. This is an important update to Pennsylvania data privacy laws pertaining to municipalities as the legislature attempts to provide additional data protections to the Commonwealth’s citizens.
Put simply, the Act requires notification to Pennsylvania residents whose personal information data was or may have been disclosed due to a breach of the security of a company’s or other entity’s system. Similar to other states’ data breach notification statutes, the amendment (in November) expanded the definition of “personal information.” This expanded definition includes medical and health information and a user name or email address in combination with a password or security questions and answers that would permit access to an online account.
The amendment also includes specific timelines and requirements for notification by state agencies, state agency contractors, public schools, counties, and municipalities when a determination of breach has been made. For example, state agencies and their contractors will have seven business days to notify individuals after the breach determination, and they must also notify the Office of the Attorney General by the same deadline. Counties, public schools, and municipalities will have seven days to notify individuals, and three days to notify the district attorney’s office in the County in which the breach occurred. Other governmental entities are not required to notify the AG’s office. A “determination” of a breach occurs when the entity has “[a] verification or reasonable certainty” that a breach has occurred.
Houston Harbaugh Data Privacy attorneys are staying apprised of the changes coming in May under the BPIN Act. Should you work in or with a local municipality or school, do not hesitate to reach out to Corey Bauer at Houston Harbaugh to establish a data breach plan.
The litigation attorneys at Houston Harbaugh, P.C., are accomplished business trial lawyers, providing comprehensive support in litigation across a broad spectrum of matters throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and other jurisdictions upon a special admission basis. Our clients are regional and national small, medium and large companies and individuals who seek well planned and aggressive, but cost effective litigation. We counsel, we budget, we have a deep bench, we act quickly when needed and we have experienced trial lawyers who know the courts and bench. We serve regularly as local counsel for some of the largest law firms in the country when they have matters in this region.
Henry M. Sneath - Practice Chair
Co-Chair of Houston Harbaugh’s Litigation Practice, and Chair of its Intellectual Property Practice, Henry Sneath is a trial attorney, mediator, arbitrator and Federal Court Approved Mediation Neutral and Special Master with extensive federal and state court trial experience in cases involving commercial disputes, breach of contract litigation, intellectual property matters, patent, trademark and copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, DTSA claims, cyber security and data breach prevention, mitigation and litigation, probate trusts and estates litigation, construction claims, eminent domain, professional negligence lawsuits, pharmaceutical, products liability and catastrophic injury litigation, insurance coverage, and insurance bad faith claims.
Samuel H. Simon - Practice Chair
As co-chair of Houston Harbaugh’s Litigation Group, Sam focuses his practice on commercial/business litigation. Sam regularly represents clients in the construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, and wholesale/retail/ distribution industries, as well as individuals in matters such as:
- Construction litigation
- Environmental litigation
- Breach of contract disputes
- Oil and gas litigation
- Restrictive covenants (non-compete agreements)
- Civil rights
- Collections/creditors’ rights
- Lease disputes