Bank, Tech Groups Lobby For Federal Oversight Of Data Breaches

News
January 8, 2018

A group of financial, retail and technology trade associations are calling on the federal government to oversee data breaches.

According to a report in American Banker, 22 trade groups sent a letter to lawmakers urging the House Energy and Commerce Committee to create data protection legislation with a flexible, scalable standard, which would take into account the size of the business, the cost and type of data being created. They also want a notification requirement that would require the companies to notify consumers, law enforcement and regulators in a timely manner if a data breach occurs.

“Consumers’ private information is extremely important to them, and Congress must act to better protect them,” said Jason Kratovil, vice president of government affairs for payments at the Financial Services Roundtable, who co-signed a letter calling for the legislation. The trade associations want Congress to develop a single set of rules and to oversee the data breaches. The groups also want “clear preemption of the existing patchwork of often conflicting and contradictory state laws” pertaining to data breaches.

“For the first time in over a decade, the banking, payment, retail, telecommunication and technology industries have come together to call on Congress to enact national data security legislation,” Kratovil said in the letter. “Congress should harness this momentum and quickly deliver a bill to the president’s desk.”

The American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Credit Union National Association, Independent Community Bankers of America, National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions and the Electronic Transactions Association also signed the letter.

In late December, seven trade associations representing banks and credit unions joined forces to call on Congress to put in place stricter cybersecurity standards to prevent more data breaches. According to a report in American Banker – citing a letter sent to U.S. Reps. Greg Walden, R-Oregon and Bob Latta, R-Ohio, who chair the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, respectively – the trade associations demanded that lawmakers put in force stronger national data security standards and requirements for notifying the public of a breach.

With the tax reform bill about to be signed by President Donald Trump, this move helps to ensure that lawmakers can now focus on protecting businesses and consumers from cyberattacks.