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Data Breach Laws in California: Requirements

The Notice of Security Breach Act in California requires any person or business conducting business in the state that licenses or maintains protected information to notify customers of a data breach. This protection extends to medical data or health insurance information or email or usernames with passwords. Affected residents must be notified by written or electronic means, and the authorities must be notified if more than 500 residents are involved or if it’s a medical-related data breach.

Name of Law / Statute

Notice of Security Breach Act

Definition of Protected Information

Combination of (1) name or other identifying info, PLUS (2) one or more of these "data" elements: SSN; driver's license number; or account number, credit card number, debit card number if accompanied by PIN, password, or access codes PLUS medical data or health insurance info OR email or usernames in combination with passwords

Who Is Subject to Law?

Any person or business conducting business in the state who licenses or maintains PI in course of business

Notification of Consumers?


By what means?

Written or electronic; electronic method depends on what information breached

Substitute Notice Threshold?


Notification of authorities / regulators required?

Yes if >500 residents OR if medical/insurance data breached

By what means?

Electronic submission of sample consumer notification; if medical, 5-day deadline

Regulatory Fines


Credit monitoring requirement?


Private lawsuits allowed?


Private damages cap?


Regulatory actions allowed?


HIPAA Compliance exemption?


Other  (e.g., timeframe)

Law does not apply if PI was encrypted

Link to complete law


Learn more about California’s data breach law.

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