On January 15, both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee announced plans to hold data breach hearings in the first week of February.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold its hearing on “privacy in the digital age” on February 4. The hearing will include topics such as how to prevent data breaches and how to combat cybercrime. Witnesses have not yet been announced.
The scheduling of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing delivers on statements previously made by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, who promised to hold a hearing addressing digital privacy in connection with the reintroduction of his Personal Data Privacy and Security Act last week. This recent reintroduction marks the fifth time Leahy has introduced the bill since it made its first appearance in 2005. Along with other lawmakers, Leahy was incited to action following the holiday season attacks at Neiman Marcus and Target, whose breach reportedly exposed the credit card tracking data of up to 110 million shoppers.
Also announced Wednesday are plans by the House Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee to hold a hearing during the first week of February to examine the “recent breaches and their consequences on consumers….” According to the Committee’s announcement, Target, law enforcement officials, and other witnesses are set to appear. Along with the planned hearing, the Subcommittee announced the publication of its “Data Breach Consumer Alert,” which provides the public with resources and information on how to protect against identity theft.
Several additional hearing announcements are likely to materialize in the near future, as multiple Congressional committees—including Senate Banking and Commerce Committees—have indicated plans to hold hearings on data breach and privacy issues following the holiday attacks.