Senators Call for Update of Data-Theft Rules

Breaches at Target and other retailers show laws protecting consumers need updating, legislators say.

Recent cyberattacks on payment systems at Target Corp. and other U.S. retailers show that U.S. laws designed to protect consumer data need updating, lawmakers said at the first of three congressional hearings on the matter.

Senate Banking Committee members yesterday called for requiring retailers to participate in a national data-breach notification system and granting wider authority for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate incidents. Senator Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican, said he would introduce a bill to set a minimum 25-year sentence for violations of federal data-theft laws.

70 Million Customers

Names as well as home and e-mail addresses for as many as 70 million Target customers were taken, the Minneapolis-based company said in a Jan. 10 statement.

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