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Virginia Data Breach Statute


Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-186.6

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Quick Facts

Breach Based on
Harm Threshold

Deadline for
Consumer Notice

Notification Required


Without unreasonably delay



More Details

Scope of this Summary Notification requirements applicable to individuals or entities 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. Incidents involving medical information may be subject to different requirements (Va. Code Ann. § 32.1-127.1:05).
Covered Info First name or first initial and last name, plus: Social Security number; driver's license or state identification card number; or financial account, credit card or debit card number, in combination with any required security or access code, or password that would permit access to a resident's financial account.
Form of Covered Info Electronic Only
Encryption Safe Harbor Statute does not apply to information that is encrypted or redacted, so long as encryption key was not accessed or acquired.
Breach Defined Unauthorized access and acquisition that compromises the security or confidentiality of the covered info, excluding certain good faith acquisitions by employees or agents.
Consumer Notice Timing: Must be made without unreasonable delay following discovery or notification of the breach consistent with any measures to determine the scope of the breach and to restore the reasonable integrity of the system.

Content: Notice must include description of incident in general terms, types of covered info subject to breach, the general acts covered entity has taken to protect covered info from further unauthorized access, and a telephone number that person may call for information and assistance, and advice that directs the person to remain vigilant by reviewing account statements and monitoring free credit reports.

Method: By written notice to last known postal address in covered entity’s records, telephone notice or electronic notice. Substitute notice is available if certain criteria are satisfied.
Delayed Notice Notification may be delayed if law enforcement believes notice will impede a criminal or civil investigation or national or homeland security.
Harm Threshold Notification not required if covered entity reasonably believes that breach has not and will not cause identity theft or other fraud to any Virginia resident.
Government Notice Must notify Attorney General without unreasonable delay following discovery or notification of the breach. Employer or payroll service provider that owns or licenses computerized data related to Virginia income tax withholdings must notify Attorney General without unreasonable delay of discovery or notification of unauthorized access and acquisition of unencrypted and unredacted computerized data containing taxpayer ID number in combination with income tax withheld (if reasonably believed that acquisition has or will cause identity theft or fraud). Notice must include name and federal employer ID number that may be affected by compromise. For employers, this requirement only applies to information about their own employees.
Consumer Agency Notice If more than 1,000 residents are notified, must notify all nationwide CRAs without unreasonable delay of timing, distribution and content of the consumer notice.
Third-Party Notice If you maintain covered info on behalf of another entity, you must notify them without unreasonable delay following discover of the 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 March 26, 2018