CUNA Launches Data Security Advocacy Site
CUNA president/CEO Jim Nussle announced the launch of StopTheDataBreaches.com, which consumers can use to call on Congress to hold retailers accountable for data breaches.
The website urges Congress to take action by passing data security legislation. Consumers are able to write their legislators through the website with the option to use the form letter provided or send a personalized message.
“Credit unions are held to strict data standards under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and CUNA is urging Congress to hold merchants to the same standards, which will force retailers to protect consumer data and protect consumers from identity theft and financial fraud,” said a CUNA press release Thursday. “The Identity Theft Resource Center estimates over 500 data security breaches have occurred in 2014, exposing over 75 million data records.”
Financial institutions are generally responsible for covering fraudulent charges on consumers’ credit cards in the aftermath of a data breach at a retailer like Target or PF Chang’s.
According to CUNA, credit union members are often under the impression that their financial institution suffered a data breach when they receive a new card. Due to current regulations, credit unions are not allowed to disclose the reason for reissuing a card that was stolen in a breach.
“Credit unions block card usage and issue cards with new numbers quickly after breaches to prevent fraud,” Nussle said. “When fraud occurs, credit unions work with their 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 all the costs of their poor security to financial institutions.”
Credit unions reissued approximately 4.6 million credit and debit cards after the Target data breach, which carried a price tag of $30.6 million.
“Expenses like this are making it harder for credit unions around the country to offer credit cards with low interest rates and free debit cards with checking accounts,” Nussle said.