Attorney General Eric Holder urges congressional action on data breaches

WASHINGTON - Attorney General Eric Holder is urging Congress to require businesses to quickly alert consumers and law enforcement agencies in the wake of significant data breaches like the ones at discount retailer Target and at Neiman Marcus.

The attorney general said Congress should create a strong, national standard for notifying consumers whose information may have been compromised, empowering members of the public to protect themselves if they are at risk of identity theft.

The attorney general said action by Congress would enable law enforcement agencies to investigate such crimes thoroughly and would hold companies accountable when they fail to keep sensitive information safe. In a video posted on the Justice Department's website, Holder also said he favors exemptions for harmless breaches to avoid placing unnecessary burdens on businesses that act responsibly.

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