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Top House Democrats Call for Investigative Hearing on Target Breach

A group of 17 Democrats from the House Financial Services Committee Monday called for a full committee hearing to address problems stemming from and related to the recent Target data breach that could have affected up to 110 million consumers.

The 17 Democrats drafted a letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, requesting a hearing to investigate the recent breach, to review laws set up to protect consumers and to determine necessary future steps to ensure consumers' data security.

"The Target breach — which industry analysts say is among the largest recorded financial data security breaches — raises important questions about what merchants who suspect a data breach has occurred must disclose, when they must disclose it, and who has the right to be notified," the Democrats wrote in the letter.

The letter continues: "Quick notification of a breach increases the likelihood that consumers can take measures to protect themselves from fraudulent activity and is similarly critical to successfully reducing the ultimate fraud losses that financial institutions incur."

The name at the top of the list of representatives signing the letter was ranking member Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

Last week, Target reported that names, home addresses, and email addresses of 70 million customers were all stolen in the security breach, which occurred from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15. Target initially said the credit and debit card data of 40 million customers had been compromised in the breach.

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman also last week said he'd be opening a national investigation into the Target breach. Late last year, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., released a statement calling for congress to enact a strategy to improve the nation's cybersecurity.

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