Technology

Senate Dems: Apple, Home Depot hacks should prompt new laws

A pair of Senate Democrats say that major hacks at Home Depot and Apple show the need for a new data security bill.

“We have been advocates for data security and breach notification legislation that would better protect consumers and improve corporate responsibility,” Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said in one of the letters, to Apple chief Tim Cook. “The recent data security incidents that have affected major corporations, including Apple, demonstrate the need for such federal legislation.”

{mosads}The recent theft of hundreds of nude and intimidate photos of celebrities from Apple’s iCloud storage service captured headlines in recent weeks and raised new concerns about data security on the cloud. 

Coupled with the recent data breach at Home Depot — which is estimated to have jeopardized 60 million customer credit and debit cards — lawmakers have indicated a renewed desire to pass some anti-hacking bill, after efforts stalled earlier this year in the wake of Target’s massive breach.  

For Apple, which recently rolled out its new watch device and a pair of new iPhones, the hack could be indicative of deeper vulnerabilities, the two wrote.

“While reports of unauthorized access to iCloud accounts have been sensationalized and have largely focused on its impact on high-profile celebrities, the incident may be another example of potential security vulnerabilities as illustrated in a string of recent data breaches that have put millions of American consumers at risk,” they wrote.

A separate letter was sent to Home Depot CEO Francis Blake on Thursday, requesting a briefing about the hack on its system. 

Rockefeller previously asked for details about the companies’ data security after the hacks first came to light at the beginning of the month.

He is the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. McCaskill is the chairwoman of the panel’s consumer protection subcommittee.

— Updated on Sept. 12 to correct the characterization of the bill the lawmakers support

Tags Apple Apple Inc. Claire McCaskill Data breach Home Depot Jay Rockefeller
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