Companies would be required to disclose cyber attacks that jeopardize consumers' personal information and concealing a data breach would be made a crime under Senate legislation aimed at enhancing privacy protections.

The bill unveiled today by Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, would set a national standard for notifying consumers that replaces data-breach reporting requirements in 47 states. Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, cited recent cyber attacks at companies including Sony Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. as he introduced the measure.

"The many recent and troubling data breaches in the private sector and in our government are clear evidence that developing a comprehensive national strategy to protect data privacy and security is one of the most challenging and important issues facing our country," Leahy said in a statement.

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