Representative Jan Schakowsky Statement on Home Depot Data Breach

CHICAGO –(ENEWSPF)—September 9, 2014.

“Yesterday, Home Depot confirmed that its customers are the victims of what may be the largest data breach of a retailer in history.  Reportedly, in an attack that went unnoticed by the company for five months, more than 60 million credit and debit card numbers and associated pieces of personal information were stolen from Home Depot stores by hackers – similar to the 2013 breaches of Target and other major retailers.  Worse still, Home Depot did not notify its customers or make any public statement until contacted about the breach by a journalist. 

As investigations into this incident proceed, I urge Home Depot to take every necessary step to come clean with its customers, take full responsibility for all unauthorized charges, and work closely with law enforcement to prevent all types of fraud that may result from this breach.  I am particularly concerned about recent reports indicating a sharp increase in fraudulent ATM withdrawals using Home Depot customers’ debit card data.  If those reports are accurate, Home Depot must immediately consult with card issuers and law enforcement and instruct potentially affected customers on how to prevent theft from their bank accounts.

The Home Depot incident also highlights the importance of Congressional action on this issue.  Currently, there is no comprehensive federal law requiring companies to protect customer data, nor is there a federal reporting requirement in the event of a data breach. 

As the top Democrat on the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee, which has primary jurisdiction over consumer data security, I strongly support passage of H.R. 4400, the Data Accountability and Trust Act.  That legislation would require companies to take basic measures to protect customer data and report breaches in a timely manner.  Despite bipartisan support, that bill has not moved since it was introduced in April. I again urge House Republican leadership to bring it to the floor for a vote without delay.”

Source: Schakowsky.house.gov

Related Article:

Home Depot Provides Update on Breach Investigation