Markey, Blumenthal applaud President’s actions to protect against cyber threats

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today released the following statement applauding President Obama’s initiative to protect American companies, consumers, and infrastructure from cyber threats.

“The President's promise to boldly ratchet up data breach protections is both welcome and urgent – and Congress must accomplish it with long overdue action. Any federal action should enhance, not undermine, strong state consumer protection laws. Congress should set a floor, not a ceiling, for privacy safeguards.


“Last year millions of consumers’ sensitive financial data fell into the hands of thieves and criminals, as business after business disclosed news that their data security systems had been breached. Credit card information and personal data was stolen from Target, Neiman Marcus, Home Depot and JP Morgan Chase – leaving consumers at risk and providing chilling reminders of how vulnerable our electronic infrastructure is to attack.


“These examples underscore the importance of enhancing our nation’s cyber security, creating stronger protections for sensitive consumer financial data, and empowering the Federal Trade Commission with the authority they need to hold businesses accountable for data breaches.”


Blumenthal and Markey, both members of the Senate Commerce Committee, also announced plans to reintroduce The Personal Data Protection and Breach Accountability Act, a bill that would help protect consumers’ personal and financial information from hackers by taking a multi-pronged approach to combating the risks associated with data breaches. Specifically, the legislation would:


·        Ensure companies take adequate steps to protect individuals from data breaches before they occur;

·        Provide remedies to individual consumers in the wake of data breaches; and

·        Allow consumers to recover damages for injuries caused by the failure of companies to protect their personal and financial information.