New Congress to hold first data breach hearing

Next Tuesday, Congress will hold its first hearing of 2015 on data breach notification legislation.

“We need a plan in place that will help prevent data from being stolen in the first place, and will also alleviate consequences for consumers if hackers are successful,” said Rep. Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessOvernight Health Care: Trump officials move to expand non-ObamaCare plans | GOP fails to block DC individual mandate | Ebola returns to Congo Republican chairman wants FTC to review mergers of drug price negotiators Overnight Health Care: Official defends suspending insurer payments | What Kavanaugh's nomination means for ObamaCare | Panel approves bill to halt employer mandate MORE (R-Texas), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, which will hold the hearing.

The hearing comes on the heels of the White House last week dropping its own proposal on the issue. Within days, Democrats in both the House and Senate pledged to introduce a version of the administration’s offering.

The main goal of the effort is to create a federal data breach notification law that eliminates the confusion generated by the 47 varying state standards.

“I am encouraged by the president’s recent focus on this issue and call for a national standard, and I agree,” Burgess said.

Such a bill would require breached companies to notify affected customers within 30 days. It may also mandate these compromised companies report their breaches to the government. The Federal Trade Commission could additionally be directed to create nationwide data security standards.

The second two points have proved contentious in the past. But the first point has bipartisan support.

Burgess chose the topic for his subcommittee’s first hearing for a reason, he said.

“Working toward a federal data breach solution is a top priority for our new Congress,” Burgess said.