February 28, 2014

Marisic, in The Hill, replies to NACS on data issue

NAFCU invited merchants to join in efforts to help make consumers' personal and financial data more secure in a letter to the editor published Thursday by The Hill's Congress Blog.

The NACS editorial decried "finger pointing" and urged action to prevent data breaches and fraud. In Thursday's letter to the editor, Katie Marisic, NAFCU's vice president of political affairs, pointed out that NACS is also in the courts fighting efforts to require merchants to defray some of the costs arising from such events.

Marisic said credit unions experienced nearly $30 million in costs from the Target Corporation breach alone, and they are still providing account monitoring for members, free of charge, in the aftermath of that breach and another affecting customers of Neiman Marcus.

"With the Wall Street Journal reporting that investigators at Verizon are looking into two additional similar data breaches at undisclosed retailers, the cost on credit unions will likely continue to rise," she wrote.

Marisic invited NACS and others to join with credit unions in supporting data protection measures that help consumers, beginning with:

  • national standards for safekeeping information;
  • breach notification and disclosure standards;
  • limits on consumer liability.

Credit unions and other financial institutions are already subject to such requirements, Marisic noted, but merchant participation is needed to better protect consumers against fraud.

"We agree that it is important to work together to prevent data breaches and fraud and protect the American consumer," she wrote. "We hope NACS will join us in that effort by supporting congressional action on the three suggestions we've outlined here."