At least three Senate committees want a piece of the recent catastrophe that exposed millions of customers' credit cards, email addresses and other personal information. Lawmakers, who have failed repeatedly to pass data security legislation, see an opportune moment to revisit the controversial topic. And more important, it offers Congress a well-publicized chance to play the good guys.
Since last October, the Committee's top priority has been investigating the security of the Healthcare.gov website and the risks posed by domestic hackers, foreign entities, and others seeking to harm our national interests. This investigation has involved numerous public hearings, tens of thousands of documents obtained from federal agencies and private contractors, and multiple transcribed interviews. Thankfully, to date there have been no successful security attacks against the Healthcare.gov website, although the increasing frequency and sophistication of attacks against all federal information technology systems increases the risks of such a breach. Unfortunately, while the Committee was conducting its investigation during this time period last fall, up to 110 million Americans were subjected to one of the most massive information technology breaches in history when their credit, debit, and other personal information reportedly was compromised at Target stores and online in November and December. I am writing to request that the Committee hold a bipartisan hearing with senior Target officials and security experts to investigate the cause of this breach, its implications for American consumers, and the steps Target has taken to address this specific breach and implement mitigation measures to ensure that similar attacks are not successful in the future.