Blumenthal 'troubled' by Neiman Marcus hack response

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Monday urged the upscale retailer Neiman Marcus to take “proactive measurers” to help consumers affected by a December data breach.

Over the weekend, the store revealed that it was hacked during the holiday shopping season and that some of its customers’ credit and debit card information may have been stolen. The disclosure came on the heels of Target’s announcement that as many as 110 million people may have had their names, addresses and card data stolen in a similar incident.

Blumenthal, who was also quick to raise concerns about the Target hack, called on Neiman Marcus to do more to communicate with its customers.  

“I am troubled by the failure of your company to immediately notify affected customers of the breach and believe it is important for your company to take immediate proactive steps to protect consumers affected by this breach,” he wrote in a letter to company President Karen Katz on Monday.

According to reports, the company became aware of the hack on Jan. 1, but news only broke in recent days, after an independent journalist’s report.

“Waiting so long to inform the public about this cyber-attack may further complicate consumers’ and banks’ efforts to protect themselves,” Blumenthal wrote.

The senator has called for Congress and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to get involved after the Target hack. The FTC has asserted authority to hold businesses responsible if their data security policies mislead consumers and are not sufficiently stringent.

Other lawmakers have also seized on reports about the recent data breaches, including an incident involving the social networking application Snapchat, to call for congressional action.

Blumenthal told The Hill last week that he would work on a bill to require that consumers be notified after a data breach and mandate upgraded security technology.