Senators Call For Hearings After Target Data Breach

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U.S. Sen. Robert Menenedez

U.S. Sen. Robert Menenedez

NEWARK – In the wake of Target’s historic account data breach affecting some 40 million customers, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez, Mark Warner and Charles Schumer today requested a hearing in the Senate Banking Committee to examine whether companies and financial service providers are taking all actions necessary to safeguard consumer data and protect against fraud and identity theft, and whether stronger industry-wide cybersecurity standards are needed.

In a letter to Chairman Tim Johnson and Ranking Member Mike Crapo, the senators wrote: “With our economy and financial sector becoming increasingly information-based and data-reliant, consumers depend on the companies and financial service providers with whom they do business to protect their sensitive information. As companies collect, store, and process ever-greater quantities of consumer data, they—and our regulators—must become even more vigilant against breaches and improper use.”

Just days before Christmas, Target announced that a data breach occurred between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, affecting about 40 million credit and debit card accounts, compromising customers’ names, card information and security codes. Target has yet to disclose how the hackers penetrated its data security.
Last week, Menendez asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help ensure consumers are better protected and also whether additional legislative action is needed to strengthen the agency’s ability to hold companies accountable when it comes to protecting shoppers from fraud and identity theft.

Standing in front of a Target in Jersey City Menendez said, “If the FTC can’t respond with more than small fines, then Congress should give the agency ‘more teeth’.” He also expressed this during an appearance on CNBC.

Menendez, Warner and Schumer are members of the Banking Committee.

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