SACRAMENTO, Calif. (3/27/08)--The California legislature moved a step closer Tuesday to adopting a landmark data security measure when the Assembly Judiciary Committee approved California Credit Union League-sponsored legislation. The unanimous, bipartisan support for Assembly Bill (AB) 1779 was introduced by Sacramento Assemblyman Dave Jones. It is the first step in renewed efforts to force California retailers and government agencies to protect consumers’ sensitive financial data, and to take responsibility for any unauthorized access of that information, said the league. The bill represents a framework for discussions that began in 2007 when the league and Jones joined forces to send AB 779 to the governor’s desk. “We got real close with AB 779 last year and it’s great to see the new data-security bill is off to a good start with a unanimous vote by the Judiciary Committee,” said league President/CEO Bill Cheney. “This is a vital measure for California consumers and the credit unions that serve them. “Data thefts are on the rise in the retail sector, and consumers increasingly find that information stolen at the retail level is used to commit identity theft and plastic card fraud. We must act quickly to close the loopholes in existing law that has allowed retailers to have a pass on this issue for far too long,” Cheney said. The legislation now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it is slated for consideration before the fiscal deadline of Aug. 31.