Breach Disclosure

Definition & Meaning:

Breach Disclosure is a policy requiring an organization to inform affected parties when a security breach has led to the unauthorized access of personal data.

This disclosure is not just a best practice; in many jurisdictions, it’s mandated by law, ensuring that individuals are aware of risks to their personal information and can take steps to protect themselves.

For example, if a hacker gains access to a database containing customer names and credit card numbers, the company must notify all impacted individuals about this breach.

The specifics of a Breach Disclosure policy vary by region but typically include requirements on the timing of the notification, the method of communication, and the type of information that must be disclosed about the breach.

In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) stipulates that data breaches must be reported to the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours of becoming aware of it and to the affected individuals without undue delay.

The goal of Breach Disclosure is to make the aftermath of data breaches more transparent, allowing those affected to take action, such as monitoring their credit reports, changing passwords, or securing their accounts.

It also serves to hold organizations accountable for the security of the data they hold. Failing to comply with Breach Disclosure requirements can result in significant fines, legal consequences, and damage to an organization’s reputation.

When you’re drafting a policy or agreement for your website, including a clear Breach Disclosure clause reassures users that you’re committed to protecting their data and being transparent about any issues.

It outlines how and when you will communicate with them in the event of a data breach, reinforcing trust between you and your users.