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Washington, D.C. Data Breach Law: Notification Requirements and Fines

In the District of Columbia, any business that experiences a data breach must notify affected D.C. residents as soon as possible through mail or email. If the security breach affects more than 100,000 people, or the cost of notification exceeds $50,000, businesses can issue alerts via public service announcements. If an event affects more than 1,000 people, all consumer-reporting agencies must be notified. Businesses that fail to notify affected individuals can be fined up to $100 per incident.

Name of Law / Statute


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; not limited to D.C. residents

Who Is Subject to Law?

Any person or business conducting business in DC who licenses or owns PI

Notification of Consumers?


By what means?

Written or electronic (if consumer consented); if >1,000 residents, must notify consumer reporting agencies

Substitute Notice Threshold?

If cost of notice >$50,000 or involves >100k residents

Notification of authorities / regulators required?


By what means?


Regulatory Fines

Up to $100/person, plus costs and attorney fees

Credit monitoring requirement?


Private lawsuits allowed?


Private damages cap?

Actual damages + costs and attorney fees

Regulatory actions allowed?


HIPAA Compliance exemption?


Other  (e.g., timeframe)


Link to complete law

Washington, D.C.'s data breach law

Read the full text of Washington, D.C.’s data breach law.

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