House E&C Pledges Comprehensive Online Privacy/Security Review

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The House Energy & Commerce Committee Republican leadership Wednesday laid out a game plan for dealing with online data security and privacy issues, which are among the hottest regulatory topics inside the Beltway.

They pledged a "comprehensive review" of those hot topics. Starting with the June 2 Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee hearing on "Sony and Epsilon: Lessons for Data Security Legislation." Sony, for one, has conceded its online gaming networks were subject to massive security breaches.

"While data security and prevention of data theft will mark the first phase of the committee's action, the Energy and Commerce Committee will also look later in the year at broader electronic privacy concerns," the office of Committee chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said in a statement.

Among the issues in the committee's sights are use of personal information to target online advertising and collecting information from Web surfers without adequate disclosure.

"We will study both the risks and rewards inherent in wired and wireless Internet communications," said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the Communications Subcommittee. "Whatever approach we ultimately take, we will strive to create a competitively and technologically neutral approach that both affords consumers protection and preserves innovation."

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