House GOP Troubled by T-Mobile Breach

A man types on a laptop in the dark
(Image credit: Andrew Brookes via Getty Images)

House Energy & Commerce Committee Republican leadership said Thursday (Aug. 19) that they had big issues with the theft of data from T-Mobile, saying Congress has to pass privacy legislation ASAP.

“The T-Mobile data breach is of serious concern. While we have more to learn to determine how this breach happened and its potential wide-ranging consequences, we urge all companies to do everything they can to safeguard and protect American’s personal information," they said in a statement.

"They" were E&C ranking member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Communications and Technology Subcommittee ranking member Bob Latta (R-Ohio), and Consumer Protection ranking member Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.).

They pointed out that last month the committee approved bipartisan legislation to promote cybersecurity information sharing.

That appeared to be a reference to H.R. 4046, the “NTIA Policy and Cybersecurity Coordination Act,” which would authorize the NTIA's Office of Policy Analysis and Development and re-christen it the Office of Policy Development and Cybersecurity.

The office administers the network security information sharing program established by Congress in the Secure and Trusted Communications Act. It passed along with a raft of tech/cybersecurity bills last month.

But they said more needs to be done. "We need to build on that work to protect Americans’ privacy. This breach is yet another example of why Congress must pass a national privacy and data security law. We need strong national standards that ensure industries can innovate, strengthen cybersecurity and data privacy, and keep up with the evolving ways bad actors steal personal information.”

Both Republicans and Democrats have argued for national legislation, but have yet to agree on just what should be in that law.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.