MEDFORD, MA -- Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released a statement in response to reports that there were previous data breaches at retailer TJX.  Rep. Markey has previously called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate this and any other data breaches fully.

"My staff met with representatives from TJX in Washington a few weeks ago and they assured us that they were investigating this matter fully.  However, TJX representatives, citing the pending investigations and prospective litigation, have yet to respond to several questions posed by my staff regarding the origins of the investigation, the scope of the data breaches that occurred, and other matters relating to data security practices at the company.  While I appreciate these concerns, I also think it is important for TJX to provide Congress and the public with as much information as possible regarding this matter,” Rep. Markey stated.

Markey continued, "I encourage and welcome the FTC looking at this matter and I will continue to push strongly for significantly upgraded data privacy legislation.  The DATA bill I'm cosponsoring would require companies to implement the strongest possible safeguards and update them frequently to thwart data thieves."

Last week, Markey and other leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee introduced major bipartisan legislation dealing with pretexting, spyware, Social Security number protection, and data security. The bills, cosponsored and in part written by Rep. Markey were:
·        The Prevention of Fraudulent Access to Phone Records Act would prohibit pretexting of phone records and to enhance security requirements for customer proprietary network information.
·        The Social Security Number Protection Act of 2007 would strengthen the authority of the Federal Government to protect individuals from abusive acts and practices in the sale and purchase of Social Security numbers.
·        The Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass Act (or SPY ACT) would protect users of the Internet from unknowing transmission of the personally identifiable information through spyware programs.
·        The Data Accountability and Trust Act (or DATA bill) will protect consumers by requiring entities engaged in interstate commerce to have reasonable security policies and procedures to protect data containing personal information, and to provide for nationwide notice in the event of a security breach.

For more information on Rep. Markey’s consumer issues, please visit

February 22, 2007

CONTACT: Israel Klein