CUNA mobilizes grassroots Action Alert to support Senate data breach bill
April 22, 2015
WASHINGTON (4/23/15)--CUNA is alerting its national grassroots action network, strongly urging credit union employees, volunteers and members to contact their senators to express support for the Data Security Act of 2015 (S. 961).
CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle calls the bill the best attempt so far at legislation to stop merchant data breaches.
S. 961 would strengthen merchant data security standards to be comparable with those of credit unions and mandate a federal notification requirement for merchants when breaches occur.
The bill also provides a floor for data security standards nationwide and also includes the important provision to exclude financial institutions from the requirements as they are already subject to rigorous standards under the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act. It was introduced April 15 by Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
"Credit unions work hard to protect their members' data security," said Nussle when sounding the alert. "They block card usage and issue cards with new numbers quickly after breaches to prevent fraud. When fraud occurs they work with members to remove the fraudulent charges and help members keep their hard-earned money. When the merchants cause a data breach, they just pass along many of the costs of their poor security to credit unions."
Nussle added that expenses that come from data breaches make it hard for credit unions to offer credit cards with low interest rates and free debit cards with checking accounts.
According to CUNA research, credit unions have spent more than $90 million in the wake of just two data breaches--those at Target and Home Depot. While a few breaches have made headlines in recent months, it is estimated that more than 1,500 data breaches occurred in 2014, exposing more than 1 billion data records.
This alert is another step in CUNA's effort to combat data breaches, which also includes participation in a class action lawsuit against Home Depot. Parties interested in potentially participating as a named plaintiff in the lawsuit should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
CUNA has numerous resources available to combat data breaches, including: