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WASHINGTON-The Senate Commerce Committee reported out the Identity Theft Protection Act (S. 1408) favorably July 28. The bill requires institutions to notify consumers when a data security breach has occurred that could reasonably result in identity theft. Institutions would also have to notify the Federal Trade Commission if more than 1,000 consumers’ sensitive personal information may have been obtained without authorization. Additionally, consumers would be able to place a `security freeze’ on their credit reports. On the eve of the committee markup, CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica wrote Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) in support of the legislation and additional items. “Based on many recent events impacting consumers and financial institutions alike, CUNA would like to see initiatives pursued that would require the major credit card companies to notify financial institutions when a breach has occurred, and for financial institutions to be able to disclose the source of the breach to the consumer,” Mica wrote. He continued, “Specifically, an electronic notice should be issued by the credit card companies to the financial institution containing the following information: when a breach occurred; which merchant is responsible for that breach and which accounts are affected; and, what type of personal information was compromised. Additionally, CUNA would support the requirement of the breaching party (i.e., the merchant) to reimburse the consumer or financial institution for any losses incurred. Finally, given the nature of our economy, CUNA supports national standards in this area.”

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