Senator Patrick Leahy pledged on Friday to pursue cybersecurity legislation in the wake of a massive data breach at retail giant Target.

The breach, which may have affected 40 million debit and credit cards used in Target stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, underscores the need for Congress to take steps to protect Americans’ digital privacy, Leahy said in a Friday press release.

"This data security breach is just the latest in a series of breaches that have impacted the privacy of millions of American consumers in recent years," the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said in the release. "It is also an important reminder that the Congress must act to develop a comprehensive national strategy to improve the nation's cybersecurity."

Leahy praised the United States Secret Service and the Department of Justice for their investigation into the Target breach.

"I will continue to closely monitor the ongoing investigation and to work with others in Congress to enact meaningful data privacy legislation in the new year," he said.