House Energy and Commerce Committee will focus on data security and digital privacy

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Some lawmakers have discussed penalizing firms that lose consumer data or forcing them to compensate consumers for any harm sustained.

"E-commerce is a vital and growing part of our economy. We should take steps to embrace it and protect it – and that starts with robust cyber security," said subpanel chair Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.).

"I look forward to working with Chairman Upton on a wide range of privacy issues which affect the lives of consumers on a daily basis."

Sony Network Entertainment International President Tim Schaaff will likely face harsh questions from lawmakers on the Commerce and Manufacturing subpanel at Thursday's hearing on the nearly week-long delay between the attack on Sony's PlayStation Network and the firm's notification to customers.

In his prepared testimony Schaaf says the firm would support some form of data breach notification legislation.

Later this year the Committee will examine broader electronic privacy concerns, such as the recent controversy surrounding location data stored on the most popular smartphone platforms.

Communications and Technology subcommittee chair Greg Walde, (R-Ore.) said most Americans still don't understand how information about them is collected.

"We will study both the risks and rewards inherent in wired and wireless Internet communications," Walden said.

"Whatever approach we ultimately take, we will strive to create a competitively and technologically neutral approach that both affords consumers protection and preserves innovation."

Thursday's hearing is at 9 a.m. in Rayburn House Office Building.