Earlier this month, the House Energy & Commerce Committee held a hearing on "The Threat of Data Theft to American Consumers". The purpose of the hearing was to look at risks related to data breaches, the state of ongoing investigations, current industry data security practices, and available technology.
Video of the Hearing:
As noted by Honorable Mary Bono Mack Chairman, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, the number of people falling victim to identity theft, and the costs to consumers and businesses alike for data breaches, is increasing steadily. Indeed, the sophisticated attacks that are resulting in such breaches as those by Sony show an alarming trend. The Chairman commented on both the Sony and Epsilon breaches, criticizing their lack of presence at the hearing and saying that consumers "deserve some straight answers."
This ongoing mess only reinforces my long-held belief that much more needs to be done to protect sensitive consumer information. Americans need additional safeguards to prevent identity theft, and I will soon introduce legislation designed to accomplish this goal. My legislation will be crafted around a guiding principle: Consumers should be promptly informed when their personal information has been jeopardized.
It's clear that there are now many people pushing for a national data security and data breach notification standard - it will be interesting to see how long it takes before legislation on this issue finally gets pushed through.
What do you think?