Data security, breach hearings highlight this week in Congress

January 26, 2015

WASHINGTON (1/27/15)--Several hearings on data and cybersecurity will take place in both houses of the U.S. Congress this week. The House commerce, manufacturing and trade subcommittee has announced the witness list for its "What are the Elements of Sound Data Breach Legislation?" hearing, scheduled for 10 a.m. (ET) today.

The witnesses are:

  • Elizabeth Hyman, executive vice president of public policy, Tech America, powered by CompTIA;
  • Jennifer Glasgow, chief privacy officer, Acxiom Corp.;
  • Brian Dodge, executive vice president of communications and strategic initiatives, Retail Industry Leaders Association; and
  • Woodrow Hartzog, associate professor, Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Ala.

Also starting today at 10 a.m. (ET), the full House Financial Services Committee will hear from Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt, who will provide an update on sustainable housing finance.

The Credit Union National Association has written a letter to the committee in advance of the hearing, urging the committee to encourage the FHFA to withdraw or "substantially revise" its proposal involving changes to the Federal Home Loan Bank program (FHLB) membership requirements.

"CUNA questions the need for any change in FHLB membership for depository institutions at this time. We are particularly concerned that the proposal would apply membership eligibility rules on an ongoing basis, creating uncertainty for Federal Home Loan Bank members and establishing different treatment for similarly sized credit unions and banks," reads the letter, signed by CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle.

The letter also includes a copy of CUNA's comment letter to the FHFA, where it outlined its many concerns with the proposal.

Later today, starting at 2 p.m. (ET), the House subcommittee on research and technology will host a hearing titled "The Expanding Cyber Threat." The hearing will feature private sector and government experts who will address issues of cybersecurity and personal security and security in the face of cyberthreats, attacks and breaches.

On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will host a hearing, titled "Protecting America From Cyberattacks: The Importance of Information Sharing." The hearing will examine cybersecurity threats facing American businesses and other organizations, as well as ways to mitigate those threats.

Also expected this week, the Senate Banking Committee and Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee will host organizational meetings.

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