The House Energy and Commerce Commerce has announced plans for a “comprehensive review” of privacy and data security regulation. The announcement explained that the “first phase” of the Committee’s review would be devoted to an assessment of the need for data security legislation. The committee will then consider what Chairman Fred Upton referred to as “the more complex questions about individual privacy in the digital era.”
There has already been considerable activity on the data security front in the Committee, with members Cliff Stearns and Bobby Rush proposing broad legislation and Mary Bono Mack pledging to do the same. Much of this activity has taken place in the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee (of which Stearns and Rush are members and Bono Mack is chair). But in the press release outlining the agenda , Rep. Greg Walden, who chairs the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, also weighed in on the importance of the issues surrounding data protection. It remains to be seen whether this Subcommittee– which has been involved in privacy and data security issues in past Congresses–will become more involved in this Congress.
On a related note, the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee held a hearing on data security yesterday. We will discuss that hearing in a subsequent post.