LEADING THE DAY: Citigroup announced late Wednesday that it had been the victim of a data breach affecting about 210,000 of its credit card customers in North America.
According to a report from the Financial Times, about 1 percent of its 21 million customers reportedly had their names, account numbers and contact information accessed during the breach. Citigroup is currently contacting those affected by the breach and is taking measures to prevent future attacks. Citigroup joins a list of several prominent companies — most notably RSA Security, Lockheed Martin and Sony — that have been hit with data breaches in recent weeks.
On Wednesday, the Commerce Department called for companies to set up voluntary industry standards to address cybersecurity threats. Earlier this week, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced a bill that would establish a national standard for data breach notification.
EPIC to file complaint over Facebook tagging: The Electronic Privacy Information Center will file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over Facebook’s “Tag Suggestions” feature, which uses facial recognition technology to identify a users’ friends in uploaded pictures, Bloomberg reported. The feature is turned on by default, drawing criticism from privacy groups and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who said in a statement Wednesday that the feature should be “opt-in.” EPIC will present the complaint to the FTC sometime this week.
Sony hacks: Sony Pictures released more information about an attack it suffered last week, saying that 375,000 people had been exposed to a data breach that compromised some personally identifiable information but did not include any financial information, Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers.
The company said that “one or more unauthorized persons” might have accessed information submitted for a sweepstakes.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote to Sony asking for more information on recent attacks, saying he was troubled by reports that the attack on Sony Pictures revealed that customer data was stored in plain text.
Sony was also reportedly hit with another attack Thursday, this time on a music site in Portugal, security firm Sophos reported.
FCC to remove fairness doctrine from rules: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that he supports removing the long-defunct Fairness Doctrine from the FCC’s books. Genachowski said the rule, which has not been enforced since 1989, “holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas,” The Washington Post reported.
Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.) wrote to ask the agency to remove the rule last week.
Spectrum bill passes Commerce committee: A bill including the proposal to allocate the D block of spectrum for a public safety network passed the Senate Commerce Committee yesterday.
The bill, introduced by John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), was approved 21-4 in the committee and now advances to the full Senate floor for vote, The Washington Post reported.