Sony will be skipping this week's congressional hearing held in its honor, so to speak. On Wednesday the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will examine the threat of data breaches after hackers stole personal information from 77 million Sony PlayStation Network accounts.
Representatives of from the Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Secret Service, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and the Association for Computing Machinery are scheduled to testify.
Ken Johnson, a spokesman for Chairwoman Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., said Sony declined to testify at the hearing because of the ongoing investigation into the data breach involving its PlayStation Network customers' information. The company has agreed to answer written questions from the subcommittee on the data breach. The panel has given Sony until the close of business Tuesday to provide answers to those questions, Johnson said.
"Despite this, millions of consumers are twisting in the wind, so we are determined to get some answers for them," Johnson said.
He added that Bono Mack plans to introduce data breach legislation soon after Wednesday's hearing and may make some tweaks to the draft measure based on feedback from the hearing. According to an internal committee memo obtained by Tech Daily Dose, the legislation will be based on a bill previously introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill.
Rush's bill required companies to protect data and notify consumers of any breaches. It was designed to formalize the patchwork of privacy laws currently in place at the state level. According to the memo, hackers have compromised nearly 600 million personal records since 2005.
"Whether the breach occurs inadvertently through the accidental release of information, in the offline world by loss of a laptop or stolen records, or online via hacking, the results can be disastrous for consumers," the document concludes.