NEWS: Reuters: Target agrees to testify on Capitol Hill about data breach

January 17, 2014

Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee To Hear From Target, Law Enforcement Officials First Week of February

This week Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Lee Terry (R-NE) announced plans for a hearing the week of February 3rd to examine data breaches and their effect on consumers. Target, which recently suffered a breach that compromised the information of millions of customers, will testify along with law enforcement officials and other witnesses. The subcommittee this week also issued an easy to use “Data Breach Consumer Alert” to serve as a resource guide for consumers concerned their personal or financial account information may have been compromised in a data breach. Terry commented, “Public awareness is a critical first defense, and our alert provides consumers with proactive steps they can take to avoid or lessen consequences of these criminal activities.” Details on the hearing will be posted when available here.

January 16, 2014

Target agrees to testify on Capitol Hill about data breach

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Target Corp has agreed to testify before Congress in early February about a data breach that compromised credit and debit card and personal data of millions of customers, a House of Representatives subcommittee said on Thursday.

Representative Lee Terry, who chairs the commerce, manufacturing and trade subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said in a statement that a hearing conducted by his panel would examine such data breaches and their effect on consumers.

The subcommittee said it expects to take testimony from law enforcement officials and others, in addition to one or more representatives of Target, the third largest U.S. retailer.

Target has said a breach of its networks during the busy holiday shopping period resulted in the theft of about 40 million credit and debit card records and 70 million other records with customer information such as addresses and telephone numbers.

"By examining these recent breaches and their consequences on consumers, we hope to gain a better understanding of the nature of these crimes and what steps can be taken to further protect information and limit cyber threats," Terry said.

The subcommittee has approached the U.S. Secret Service, the lead investigator into recent data breaches at both Target and Neiman Marcus, and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, about participating in the hearing, a subcommittee official said.

Because the Target breach is under active investigation, the amount of detail that will discussed at the hearing on how the breach occurred and where investigations are headed is unclear.

Instead, the official said, the main objective of the hearing would be to examine how consumers were affected by the data breach and what they can do to protect themselves against such data intrusions.

"We are continuing to work (with) elected officials to keep them informed and updated as our investigation continues," Target said. …

Read the full story online here.

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