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U.S. Senate panel would like to have a word with Target

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Target is being summoned to Capitol Hill to explain its data breach.

Reuters reports leaders of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee sent a letter to Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel requesting a briefing on the company's investigation and latest findings. The Minneapolis-based retailer said last week the breach, which lasted 19 days during the busy holiday shopping season, compromised private information of more than 100 million shoppers.

In their letter, Democratic Senators Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Claire McCaskill of Missouri write: "We expect that your security experts have had time to fully examine the cause and impact of the breach and will be able to provide the Committee with detailed information."

Rockefeller chairs the Commerce Committee and McCaskill leads a subcommittee on consumer protection.

In the House the top Democrat on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a letter to that panel's chairman requesting a similar hearing involving Target, Reuters says.

Fallout from the breach is proceeding on other fronts, as well. Bloomberg reports six attorneys general around the country, led by those in Connecticut and Illinois, are investigating the data theft.

In addition, Bloomberg says Connecticut-based Putnam Bank sued Target this week, seeking to recover money the bank says it spent issuing customer alerts and new credit and debit cards. Nearly two dozen individual customers have filed lawsuits against Target, according to Bloomberg's report.

In his first media interview since the data breach, Steinhafel told CNBC Target will not rest until to company gets to the bottom of what happened and how.

Target's response has included offering free credit monitoring and ID theft insurance to any of its shoppers for a year.

NBC reports ripples from the breach may well extend to a host of loyalty programs that ask customers to provide personal information.

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