Magazine article Information Management

U.S. Congress Expected to Move on Data Protection

Magazine article Information Management

U.S. Congress Expected to Move on Data Protection

Article excerpt

Thanks to high-profile data breaches such as that experienced by Target last year, the U.S. legislature may finally be ready to address data protection. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson recently told attendees at the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit that members of Congress are expected to move forward on bipartisan cyber security legislation this summer, according to SecurityInfoWatch.com (SIW).

About the same time, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released the report "Online Advertising and Hidden Hazards to Consumer Security and Data Privacy," in which it urged some leading high-tech companies to do more to protect consumers from hackers who use online advertisements to infect computers. It cited examples in which Google, Yahoo, and YouTube were exploited to infect visitors' computers without the companies' knowledge.

The subcommittee observed in its report that consumers risk being exposed to malware in their everyday activities. It also acknowledged that the online advertising industry has become so complex "that each party can conceivably claim it is not responsible when malware is delivered to a user's computer through an advertisement."

Ultimately, the subcommittee stated four basic recommendations:

* Establish better practices and clearer rules. Consumers need to keep their operating systems updated and carriers need to do more on their end. "If sophisticated commercial entities do not take steps to further protect consumers, regulatory or legislative change may be needed so that such entities are incentivized to increase security for advertisements run though their systems."

* Strengthen security information exchanges within the online advertising industry. According to the report, some online advertising companies claim they don't share information about security hazards with their competitors for fear they would be accused of violating antitrust laws. …

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