Epsilon breach grabs US Senate attention

"One of the largest data breaches in history"

Seems that the recent Epsilon breach has rankled a couple members of the U.S. Senate who are now pushing for further investigation into the irritating violation of privacy.

Specifically, in his role as chairman of the Privacy, Technology and the Law subcommittee, Al Franken, D-Minn., along with Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., have asked the Department of Justice to clarify its interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) that protects Americans' private and personal data. Franken said the breach and another ongoing investigation into the smartphone application privacy invasion issue would likely get a Senate hearing in the future.

MORE ON EPSILON BREACH: 'We regret to inform you': The Epsilon breach letters you don't want to see

"This is one of the largest data breaches in history, yet most of the people affected by the Epsilon breach had never heard of that company before this week," Franken said a statement. "We need to give Americans more awareness about who has their information and greater ability to protect it."

Blumenthal went a step further and called for answers from Epsilon's CEO Bryan Kennedy with regard to how the company plans to help consumers in the coming months and how it will prevent this type of data from being compromised in the future. Last week, Blumenthal wrote to Kennedy, expressing concern and asking for answers to questions regarding the breach. Blumenthal had previously written to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to request an investigation into the breach, according to the senator's website.

"This data in the wrong hands can be extremely damaging to the financial well-being of a number of consumers across Connecticut, some of whom might not know their identifying information has been compromised," Blumenthal said. "Epsilon owes it to these consumers to provide them with tools to ensure the safety of identification and financial information, and also to take serious steps toward preventing these types of breaches in the future."

Epsilon this month said that unauthorized entry had been made into its systems exposing tons of email lists. Companies impacted include Verizon, Walgreens, 1800Flowers, World Financial Network National Bank, Marks & Spencer and Eurosport.

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Michael Cooney

Network World
Topics: security, Epsilon, data breach, government, industry verticals
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