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NAFCU Renews Call for Congressional Action on Data Breaches

National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) President and CEO Dan Berger today renewed the association’s call for congressional action on data security. Target increased the estimated number of consumer records affected in its recent data breach, initially reported at 40 million, to as many as 70 million records.

“The latest revelation of compromised consumer records well illustrates NAFCU’s case for setting a statutory requirement for merchants’ protection of consumer data. Merchants and big-box retailers must be accountable for data breaches originating on their end,” said Berger. “Credit unions and other financial institutions aren’t the problem. There are ample rules in place to ensure data protection standards at financial institutions. Still, consumers and small financial institutions – including credit unions – are picking up the tab for retailers. Until a legislative fix is put in place, consumers’ sensitive financial and personal data will continue to be at risk.”

“NAFCU commended the members of Congress, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., for their calls for investigation and to hold retailers responsible for protecting consumers’ information. As Congress calls for hearings and potential legislation, we are steadfast in championing safeguards to protect credit unions and their 96 million members.”

NAFCU led the charge in calls to action Dec. 19, the same day the Target data breach was first announced, in letters to the leaders of the House and Senate, Berger wrote Congress to urge passage of bills to require merchants to adopt minimum data security standards and be accountable for breaches. Berger also advanced the association’s calls for better data protection through a blog post in The Huffington Post.

Passage of data security requirements for merchants is a key element of NAFCU’s five-point plan for credit union regulatory relief.

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions is the only national organization that focuses exclusively on federal issues affecting credit unions, representing its members before the federal government and the public.

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