Attorney General Jepsen Forms Permanent Department on Privacy,
Data Security within Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General George Jepsen today announced the creation of a new department within the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General – the Privacy and Data Security Department – that will work exclusively on investigations and litigation related to privacy and data security.
In 2011, Attorney General Jepsen appointed a multidisciplinary Privacy Task Force to educate the public about data protection and to focus the office's response to Internet privacy concerns and data breaches that affect consumers. The Privacy and Data Security Department will continue and expand upon the Task Force's work by dedicating staff to work exclusively on privacy-related matters.
"When I took office in January 2011, it became immediately clear that data privacy and security were growing concerns in our state and across the country," said Attorney General Jepsen. "I appointed the Privacy Task Force – the only task force I have formed in the Office of the Attorney General – to address these matters head on. In the four years since, nothing has lessened the importance of our privacy work. During that time, my office has taken a lead role in investigating massive consumer data breaches involving Anthem, Target, Home Depot and others as well as significant issues impacting consumer privacy, including the Google Street View Wi-Fi data collection case. Sadly there is no reason to predict that the demands of privacy and data security concerns will subside in the foreseeable future. Formation of a dedicated Privacy and Data Security Department within my office will maintain Connecticut's standing as a national leader on this important topic and ensure that this work will continue with equal importance and emphasis to that done by other departments within the office."
Assistant Attorney General Matthew Fitzsimmons, who has served as chair of the Privacy Task Force since its creation, has been named to head the new Privacy and Data Security Department. In addition to having its own dedicated attorneys, the department will continue to address matters with a cross-disciplinary team with subject matter experts in health, finance and other disciplines from other departments as appropriate. The department will also continue to be supported by a technical consultant under contract with the Office of the Attorney General.
"Creation of this department is being accomplished within available appropriations," Attorney General Jepsen said. "While eventually we may seek to expand the department, all of us in government must work to do more with less. Despite resource constraints, I am fully confident in our staff and in the leadership of Attorney Fitzsimmons – a national leader in data security and privacy – to continue and build on the excellent work they've done in this important area."
Like the Task Force before it, the new department will be responsible for all investigations involving consumer privacy and data security. It will also help to educate the public and business community about their responsibilities, which include protecting personally identifiable and sensitive data and promptly notifying affected individuals and the Office of the Attorney General when breaches do occur.
Jaclyn M. Falkowski