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House, Senate add data security hearings to next week's agenda
WASHINGTON (1/31/14)--A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee has announced a Feb. 5 hearing titled "Protecting Consumer Information: Can Data Breaches Be Prevented?" It will be the first data security hearing in the House this year.

The session, scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. (ET) in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building, will follow a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the same subject by just two days.

Sandwiched between those two sessions will be a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Privacy in the Digital Age: Preventing Data Breaches and Combating Cybercrime." It's scheduled to start at 10:15 a.m. (ET).

A notice from the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing, and trade said witnesses at its hearing Wednesday will include U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Target and Neiman Marcus representatives. Target and Neiman Marcus, of course, are the retail giants whose recent data breaches have compromised the financial and personal information of tens of millions of Americans.

Senate Judiciary is naming Target Executive Vice President John Mulligan as its first witness, to be followed by top representatives from the Consumers Union, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, Secret Service, and the Department of Justice.

The Credit Union National Association is urging Congress to improve merchants' data security standards, to allow credit unions and other financial institutions to disclose to members or customers where a breach has occurred and to make merchants more financially responsible for data breaches that occur through their systems. (See related story: Consumer data protection a shared responsibility, Cheney writes in PaymentsSource.)


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