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Data Security Could Be Potent November Election Issue

The American public has little confidence in the security of the country's digital infrastructure, a poll released Tuesday by the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA) said. According to the advocacy group, the issue could play a part in upcoming November elections.

"While data security alone won't be a deciding factor in an election, the survey does reveal that voters have serious doubts about candidates opposed to strong data security laws," said Paul Kurtz, the CSIA's executive director, in a statement. "Consumers are beginning to understand the link between their privacy and data security and they are looking to their government leaders for action."

Fewer than 1 in 5 of the 1,150 U.S. adults surveyed believed that existing laws can protect them from fraud, identity theft, and other crimes on the Internet. Meanwhile, over two-thirds (70 percent) want Congress to pass strong data protection legislation.

The desire to see something done crosses party lines, the survey revealed. Although Democrats were more likely to support stronger data security laws (78 percent), Republicans were not far behind, with 68 percent of them favoring strict legislation.

Representatives run a risk if they oppose passing some kind of law, the CSIA said in its analysis. "If a Member of Congress votes against a strong data security bill this session, the survey suggests that the Member’s opponents will bring up the issue in the fall campaign," the survey's associated report read.

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