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District of Columbia Data Breach Statute


D.C. Code §§ 28-3851 to 28-3853

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Quick Facts

Breach Based on
Harm Threshold

Deadline for
Consumer Notice

Notification Required


Most expedient time possible without
unreasonable delay



More Details

Scope of this Summary Notification requirements applicable to persons or entities that conduct business in DC and that own, license or maintain covered info. Some types of businesses may be exempt from some or all of these requirements and non-commercial entities may be subject to different requirements.
Covered Info First name or first initial and last name, or phone number, or address, plus: Social Security number; driver's license or DC identification card number; or credit or debit card number.

Covered info also includes any other number code or combination of numbers or codes, such as account number, security or access code or password that would permit access to a resident's financial or credit account.
Form of Covered Info Electronic Only
Encryption Safe Harbor Statute does not apply to information that has been rendered secure, so as to be unusable to an unauthorized third-party.
Breach Defined Unauthorized acquisition of electronic data, or any equipment or device storing such data, that compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of the covered info, excluding certain good-faith acquisitions by employees or agents.
Consumer Notice Timing: Must be made in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay consistent with any measures necessary to determine the scope of the breach and restore the reasonable integrity of the system.

Method: By written notice or by electronic notice if customer consented to receipt of electronic notice consistent with E-SIGN. Substitute notice is available if certain criteria are satisfied.
Delayed Notice Notification may be delayed if law enforcement determines that notice will impede a criminal investigation.
Consumer Agency Notice If more than 1,000 residents notified, must notify all nationwide CRAs without unreasonable delay of timing, distribution and content of the consumer notice. Persons or entities subject to Gramm-Leach-Bliley are exempt from this requirement.
Third-Party Notice If you maintain covered info on behalf of another entity, you must notify them in the most expedient time possible following discovery of a breach.
Potential Penalties Violations may result in civil penalties.


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This summary is for informational purposes only. It provides general information and not legal advice or opinions regarding specific facts. Additional requirements or conditions may apply to any or all provisions referenced herein. For more information about the state data breach notification laws or other data security matters, please seek the advice of counsel.

Last revised on May 30, 2018