Berger, in HuffPost, presses for data security action

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B. Dan Berger

Dec. 27, 2013 – The recent data breach at Target Corporation affecting nearly 40 million consumer card accounts “should be a wake-up call to consumers and policymakers alike” on the need for better data protection, NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger said in a blog post on The Huffington Post.

In a post published Thursday, Berger noted the massive breach at Target is just the latest of many that have occurred in recent years – not to mention smaller ones that haven’t been reported on in the media.

“Every time consumers choose to use plastic cards for payments at a register or make online payments from their accounts, they put themselves at risk,” he noted. “Many are not aware that their financial and personal identities could be stolen or that fraudulent charges could appear on their accounts, in turn damaging their credit scores and reputations.”

The NAFCU president pointed out that credit unions and other financial institutions are subject to data security standards under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, but these measures are not applied to retailers and other entities. “Credit unions suffer steep losses in re-establishing member safety after a data breach occurs,” he noted.

Berger said Congress should pass legislation that would require retailers and others that store consumer data to pay for the costs of breaches that occur on their end, adhere to a set of national standards for data safekeeping, post data security policies, notify account servicers when breaches occur and more.

“Bottom line: NAFCU urges Congress to make the issue of data security a priority in 2014 and enforce a stricter standard on merchants and retailers to protect consumers from breaches that compromise their financial and personal information,” he wrote. “Based on current standards, the question is not if consumers' data will be compromised again, but when.”

Related Links:
Berger in The Huffington Post