Washington Gets Involved in Target’s Security Breach Investigation

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Nearly one month after Target (NYSE:TGT) initially alerted customers of its possible security theft affecting more than 40 million debit and credit cards, it is clear that lawmakers are ready to get involved. According to Reuters, Democratic lawmakers called for a congressional inquiry into the Target security breach Monday, and the request came just days after Senate Democrats made a similar move the week before.

Democratic lawmakers’ request Monday asked the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives to look into the breach that resulted in the theft of about 40 million credit and debit records, and 70 million other records with customer information. Seventeen committee Democrats, led by ranking member Maxine Waters, wrote a letter to the committee’s Republican Chair, Jeb Hensarling, and requested a “full Financial Services Committee hearing,” hoping that the hearing will review current consumer protection laws and determine what can be done in the future to avoid compromises of consumers’ card information.

It is not expected that the reviews will result in any kind of action or legislation on the part of Target, but lawmakers still want to ensure that consumers are protected sufficiently, and Hensarling maintained in a statement Monday, “It is incumbent upon our Committee to explore whether industry data protection standards are appropriate, and examine whether heightened regulatory standards are needed to more effectively protect customers.”

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