FCC, FTC, NTIA officials to testify at House privacy hearing

Lawmakers from the House Energy and Commerce Committee will ask federal officials this week for an overview of current privacy and data security legislation in the U.S., in the first of a series of planned subcommittee hearings.

Federal Communications Commission head Julius Genachowski, Federal Trade Commission member Edith Ramirez and National Telecommunications and Information Administration head Larry Strickling will speak Thursday on the role of their agencies on those issues.

The inquiry was prompted by the spate of public data breaches in the past few months, including the cyber attack on Sony, which compromised the personal data of 77 million customers in April.

The subcommittee chairs — Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), of the panel on commerce, manufacturing and trade, and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) of the technology and communications subcommittee — have planned the hearings as part of a broader initiative to examine current U.S. data privacy laws.

Both Walden and Bono Mack have addressed privacy issues in their panels before. Bono Mack is currently working on a data breach bill that would require entities to notify the FTC within 48 hours of a consumer data breach.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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