By Gautham Nagesh - 04/07/11 08:20 PM EDT
Lawmakers from both parties and chambers of Congress are asking for more information on the recent data breach at the marketing company Epsilon Data Management that affected customers of firms including Best Buy, Kroger and JPMorganChase.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday asking him to investigate the incident. Epsilon has acknowledged the names and email addresses of customers were compromised, but hasn't publicly said how many.
"While some of Epsilon’s client companies have notified their customers of the breach, other consumers may be unaware that their names, email addresses and other potentially identifying information may be at risk," Blumenthal said.
"I believe that immediate notification to all customers is vital to protect them — and enable them to protect themselves — from identity theft."
Blumenthal argued the names and email addresses could be used by criminals to obtain other financial information and recommended Epsilon or its clients pay for financial data security services and credit reports for affected consumers for two years.
On the House side, Reps. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) wrote to the CEO of Alliance Data systems, which owns Epsilon, with a list of questions regarding the breach and the firm's response.
The lawmakers ask for specific details on the timeline of the events and the number of affected consumers, as well what the firm has done to mitigate the effects of the breach and prevent future occurrences. They request a response no later than April 18.