Senate hearing addresses data breach and cybercrime prevention

Feb. 7, 2014

On February 4, 2014, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, under the leadership of Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA), held a hearing, titled, “Privacy in the Digital Age: Preventing Data Breaches and Combating Cybercrime.”

“Public confidence is crucial to our economy. If consumers lose faith in business' ability to protect their personal information, our economic recovery will falter. Unfortunately, in the digital age, major data breaches involving our private information are not uncommon. The threat and dangers of data breaches are also not unique to the retail industry,” said the Chairman in his opening statement.

Also in his opening statement, Senator Leahy called attention to the legislation he reintroduced  earlier this year, the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2014 (S. 1897.)

The Committee heard from two panels of witnesses, focused on the recent breaches of consumer information and measures to combat cybercrime. Witnesses included:

First Panel:

  • Delara Derakhshani, Policy Counsel, Consumers Union, Washington, DC
  • Michael R. Kingston, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, The Neiman Marcus Group, Dallas, TX
  • John J. Mulligan, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Target Corporation, Minneapolis, MN
  • Fran Rosch, Senior Vice President, Security Product and Services, Endpoint and Mobility, Symantec Corporation, Mountain View, CA

Second Panel:

  • The Honorable Edith Ramirez, Chairwoman, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC
  • William Noonan, Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Investigative Division, U.S. Secret Service, Washington, DC
  • Mythili Raman, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC

This hearing represents Congress’ continued focus on the protection of personal information, both consumer and health data.

Witness written testimony and a recording of the full Committee hearing is available here.

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