American Society of Magazine Editors

Calls for Data Security Legislation Ring in the New Year

February 14, 2014

Following the high profile announcements of the breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus, a chorus of Congressional voices called for Congress to look into the breaches, and the topic of data security more broadly.  Hearings in the Senate and House in early February will give legislators that chance.

In early February, legislators heard from executives from both stores, as well as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Secret Service, and others, in hearings held in the Senate Judiciary and Banking Committees and House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Data breach is not a new topic in Congress; following the announcement of the Target breach, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) reintroduced a data security bill – the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act – he has introduced in every Congress since 2005.  The legislation would create a national standard for data breach notification and require companies that keep data to establish safety policies to safeguard consumer data.  Senators Blumenthal (D-CT) and Markey (D-MA) have introduced similar legislation.  MPA supports data security legislation that would create one national standard and be beneficial for consumers and manageable for businesses.