In response to confirmed data breach at Home Depot stores, Blumenthal and Markey call for FTC investigation

(Washington, DC) – In a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) today called on the FTC to investigate and address the recent data breach at Home Depot. The possibility of a data breach was first disclosed last Tuesday on the security blog Krebs on Security, and was confirmed yesterday by Home Depot. The data breach may have affected Home Depot’s almost 2,200 stores in the U.S. and Canada, and transactions dating back to April. 

“We are concerned that the retailer’s procedures for detecting and stopping operations to steal customer data are inadequate and we call on the Commission to investigate whether Home Depot’s security procedures meet a reasonable standard,” Blumenthal and Markey wrote. “If Home Depot failed to adequately protect customer information, it denied customers the protection that they rightly expect when a business collects such information. Such conduct is potentially unfair and deceptive, and therefore could violate the FTC Act”

In February, Senators Blumenthal and Markey introduced the Personal Data Protection and Breach Accountability Act. This bill would help protect consumers’ personal and financial information from hackers through a multi-pronged approach that combats the risks associated with data breaches by holding those who fail to deter preventable data breaches accountable, minimizing consumer harm in the event of a data breach, and promoting technical information sharing among companies to help prevent future breaches.