Sens. Seek Answers From Apple, Home Depot, on Breaches

Rockefeller, McCaskill Say Companies Need to Outline What They Are Doing to Address Problems

Add senators Jay Rockefeller (D- W. Va.), chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Clair McCaskill (D-Mo.) to those seeking answers from Home Depot and Apple in recent security "incidents."

Those would be the data breach at Home Depot possibly affecting a couple thousand stores and the "unauthorized access to [Apple's] cloud data base," which is their senatorial way of saying the naked pictures snatched from stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, niece of House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

The senators have sent letters to Apple CEO Timothy Cook and Home Depot Chairman Francis Blake seeking meetings and info.

The senators want a briefing with Home Depot execs on the status of the company's investigation and findings.

The pair have been pushing for data security and breach notification legislation, so the issue is squarely in their sights. "The recent data security incidents that have affected major corporations, including Home Depot, demonstrate the need for such federal legislation,” they wrote in letters to both companies.

From Apple, they want info on the security protocols Apple says it has adopted to maximize iCloud safety and protect privacy, particularly given the release of the new iPhone and Apple Watch, which collect and store consumer health data. They also are concerned about the increased migration of consumer data to Apple cloud storage given the planned launch of a new iCloud Drive initiative billed as allowing consumers to "safely store all your presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs, images, and any other kind of document in iCloud and access them from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or, PC.’

Rockefeller earlier this year introduced the Data Security and Breach Notification Act, which would provide a federal standard for protection on personal information. Similar bills were introduced in the previous two Congresses.

Earlier this week, Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and "address" the data breach at Home Depot.




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