Texas Legislature Approves Bill Requiring the State AG to Set up Data Breach ‘Wall of Shame’

The Texas Legislature copied what California and Maine did in passing a bill that calls for the Texas Attorney General to post notifications on the state Attorney General’s public-facing web portal concerning breaches of personal data that impact state residents.

House Bill 3746, an amendment of the Texas Business and Commerce Code § 521.053, received unanimous approval. It requires the Texas Attorney General to post incidents of data breaches that have impacted at least 250 Texas residents. The webpage must be updated with any breach notification received within 30 days.

When a company is posted on the web portal, the listing should remain there for one year. The listing can be deleted if the person or company hasn’t experienced any more data breaches impacting at least 250 Texas residents throughout that one-year period.

Texas legislation demands that notices of system security breaches must be given to the state Attorney General within 60 days of discovering the breach. The breach notifications should state a complete description of the nature of the incident, how it happened, and whether there was sensitive data obtained because of the breach. The notices ought to state the number of persons known to have been impacted by the breach during the issuance of the breach notification to the State Attorney General. It is also necessary to include in the notifications the details of the steps taken concerning the breach, potential actions that plan to be undertaken in connection with the breach, and if law enforcement is involved in the breach investigation.

The legislation updates current data breach notification standards to additionally necessitate the Attorney General to be advised of the number of Texas residents that were given breach notification through mail or other direct means of communication during the time of issuance of the notification to the Texas Attorney General.

The legislation is now pending the signature of Texas Governor Greg Abbott. When it is signed, the effective date will begin September 1, 2021.