CHARLOTTE — AARP joined Attorney General Josh Stein, Rep. Jason Saine and the Mecklenburg County Sherriff’s Office to unveil legislation to strengthen North Carolina’s laws to prevent data breaches and to protect affected victims.

“Last year, more than 1.9 million North Carolinians were estimated to have been affected by a data breach,” said Attorney General Stein. “This number is way too high. North Carolina’s laws on this issue are strong – but they need to be even stronger. Rep. Jason Saine and I want to do everything we can to keep people’s personal information safe.”

“Over the last year, we have spent numerous hours working with citizen advocates – like AARP, the Attorney General’s Office, and the North Carolina business community, to ensure that this bill will create strong protections for North Carolina’s citizens’ data,” said Rep. Jason Saine. “We are strongly committed to getting this right, and creating a strong framework for protecting our most personal information.”

For more information about the Act to Strengthen Identity Theft Protections, please click here.

In addition to announcing this legislation, Attorney General Stein also released an annual report detailing the data breaches reported to his office in 2018. That report provides detailed information about the 1,057 data breaches that affected more than 1.9 million North Carolinians.

More information on data breaches in 2018:

  • Phishing scams made up 26 percent of all breaches in 2018, up nearly 11 percent since 2017 and 2,650 percent since 2015.
  • Accidental release and display breaches increased in 2018, after a steady decline since 2013.
  • The 474 hacking breaches reported in 2018 marked an 8 percent decline since 2017. Hacking breaches in 2018 were 1,960 percent higher than a decade ago.
  • In 2018, more than 1.9 North Carolinians were affected by data breaches, a 63 percent decrease from the 5.3 million North Carolinians affected by data breaches in 2017. In 2017, an estimated 5 million North Carolinians were affected by the Equifax breach, one of the most significant security breaches in American history.
  • (L-R) Attorney General Josh Stein, Representative Jason Saine and AARP NC Director Doug Dickerson announce plan for greater cyber security.

    More data breach notices were submitted in 2018 than in 2017. The 1,057 data breach notices submitted in 2018 were 3.4 percent higher than the number of notices submitted in 2017.

To learn how to protect yourself from identity theft, visit www.ncdoj.gov/identitytheft.

To view the press conference, visit www.facebook.com/ncdoj and click on the Facebook live video.

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