House commerce panel members seek more information on Sony security breach

Reps. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) have written a letter to Sony chairman Kazuo Hirai asking for more information on a network breach that exposed the personal information of thousands of users.

Bono Mack chairs the House subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade; Butterfield is the ranking member. The committee has scheduled a hearing addressing data theft issues for May 6.

The letter asks many of the same questions that consumers are asking, particularly why Sony waited to notify customers about the PlayStation breach.

The attack on Sony’s network happened between April 17 and April 19. The company learned of the breach on April 19, shutting down the network in response and first notified customers of the security risk on April 26, on its company blog and via e-mail.

The company has said it waited to tell consumers about the leak until it fully understood the scope of the problem.

Ken Johnson, a spokesman for Bono Mack, said that the congresswoman is concerned about this and other breaches that can open the door to identity theft.

“She believes companies have a responsibility to promptly notify consumers” in cases like this, Johnson said.

Related stories:

FBI looks into Sony’s PlayStation security breach

Sony sued over PlayStation security breach and data theft

Sony got hacked; what should I do?

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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