(Washington, DC)  --  Attorney General Eric Holder is urging Congress to pass a national standard for notifying consumers about data breaches. 

This comes in response to Target and Neiman Marcus reporting significant breaches of customers' account information during the 2013 holiday shopping season. 

Holder thinks a national standard would help protect consumers at risk for identity theft, allow law enforcement to better investigate such crimes and hold businesses accountable if they fail to provide adequate data security.  The roadblock to this effort would be that most states already have their own laws on how consumers should be alerted to data breaches.

Some state officials worry a national standard would affect their ability to take legal action against cyber criminals.  However, the National Retail Federation recently told Congress it supports a federal standard that would pre-empt state rules.