PEWAUKEE, Wis. (1/29/08)--Wisconsin credit unions are supporting a state bill that would allow for the safekeeping personal information stored on debit and credit cards. The legislation has been introduced by State Rep. Brett Davis (R-Oregon) and State Sen. Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie). The bill would prohibit merchants from retaining personal identification numbers or security codes after processing debit or credit card transactions. If a merchant were to ignore the law and collect and keep that information, and if the information were lost, the party responsible for losing the information would be required to pay for the costs to close the consumers’ accounts and re-issue cards. The party responsible for the loss also would be required to pay for steps to prevent fraudulent use of a consumer’s personal information and cover certain costs to continue financial services to the card holder. Costs include notifying customers or crediting accounts for fraudulent transactions. “Due to recent breaches of consumers’ personal identification involving payment cards, legislators and consumers have a heightened awareness of the extremely important matter of data security,” said Brett Thompson, president/CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League. “We hope this common sense proposal will win bi-partisan support and be signed into law this session.” About 75% of Wisconsin consumers surveyed in a January telephone poll conducted by the league supported measures that require the party responsible for a data breach to bear restorative costs. Consumers may spend up to 60 hours to fix damage caused by a breach and fraud attempts, Thompson said. Credit unions have a more difficult time offering attractive rates on savings and loans to members when they must bear the costs related to breaches of personal information, Thompson said.