07:05 GMT07 March 2021
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    The US needs measures which prevent cybersecurity breaches and not just react to them, experts say commenting on President Obama's proposed legislation to tackle cybercrimes.

    WASHINGTON, January 13 (Sputnik) — US President Barack Obama's proposed legislation to improve cybersecurity and enhance consumer privacy is long overdue and may not be enough, cyber experts have told Sputnik.

    "It doesn't prevent the real problem here," Nick Akerman, a lawyer and nationally-recognized expert on computer crime and data protection, told Sputnik Monday, admitting, however, that a "uniform" law would save US authorities from having "to deal with a patchwork of different laws in states".

    Obama's proposed plan stipulates creating a national standard requiring US companies to inform consumers within 30 days after their information has been stolen or misused online. Internet users will also be given more information on how their personal data is being used and companies will be required to securely store personal information.

    According to Akerman, these measures are not enough.

    "You need something more in order to prevent cybersecurity issues – to prevent breaches and not just react to them," Akerman told Sputnik, suggesting criminalizing data security breaches.

    Akerman said many companies do nothing to protect personal information and that those that do not take the issue seriously should be held accountable.

    "It should be a crime for companies that don't take care of competitively-sensitive information and personal information and not taking proper steps to protect it," Akerman stressed, adding that if people are simply notified "there isn't much of a consequence".

    Susan Freiwald, a professor at the University of San Francisco specializing in cyber-law and information privacy, told Sputnik Monday that the president's plan is common-sense policy the effectiveness of which is still a matter of debate.

    "Without a proposed bill's specifics…we can't know how effective it will be in protecting privacy," Freiwald said.

    This week Obama is announcing a series of steps his administration plans to take to enhance US cybersecurity, expand Internet access and create jobs in the cybersecurity and Internet fields.

    The move comes in the wake of the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which resulted in the leak of personal data of the company's employees at the end of last year.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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