CUNA, along with trade associations from a broad spectrum of stakeholders, sent a letter to Chairman Walden and Chairman Latta in support of federal legislation to protect personal information and,  in the event of a data breach that could result in identity theft or other financial harm, ensure consumers are notified in a timely manner.

The letter outlined the elements that should be included in future legislation:

  • A flexible, scalable standard for data protection that factors in (1) the size and complexity of an organization, (2) the cost of available tools to secure data, and (3) the sensitivity of the personal information an organization holds, as well as guarantees that small organizations are not burdened by excessive requirements.
  • A notification regime requiring timely notice to impacted consumers, law enforcement, and applicable regulators when there is a reasonable risk that a breach of unencrypted personal information exposes consumers to identity theft or other financial harm.
  • Consistent, exclusive enforcement of the new national standard by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state Attorneys General, other than for entities subject to state insurance regulation or who comply with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996/HITECH Act. For entities under its jurisdiction, the FTC should have the authority to impose penalties for violations of the new law.
  • Clear preemption of the existing patchwork of often conflicting and contradictory state laws.

CUNA will continue to work with Congress and other trade associations to ensure any legislation enacted into law must guarantee that all entities that handle consumers’ sensitive financial data have in place a robust – yet flexible and scalable – process to protect data, which must be coupled with effective oversight and enforcement procedures to ensure accountability and compliance.