Hackers believed to be associated with the Russian government gained access to the White House's unclassified computer system last year and may have accessed sensitive information like schedules and emails to and from the president. Now, senators are worried that the hackers may have obtained private data belonging to ordinary American citizens, too.
"This unclassified computer system likely also contains the personally identifiable information of many Americans," the [Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune] wrote, noting that people must submit personal information before being allowed to enter the White House.
The Senate Commerce Committee wrote to the president to express these concerns and suggest possible ways to fix deal with the situation.
If the hackers did gain access to data belonging to American citizens, Thune and his fellow committee members would like the White House to notify any citizens potentially affected by the cyberattack.
"Just like any entity that handles personally-identifiable information, the White House has a responsibility to notify Americans if the recent, or any future breach, results in a compromise," the committee chairman, John Thune, said in a statement on Sunday accompanying the letter.
In response to the letter, White House National Security Council spokesman Mark Stroh said, "We have consistently supported timely notification in the event of data breaches, consistent with existing federal policy."