Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Sends Letter to Senate Banking Committee Prior Consumer Data Security Hearing
Posted October 18, 2017 by mcarew

This week the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing entitled, “Consumer Data Security and the Credit Bureaus.”  This was the second hearing held on data security since the Equifax data breach in September. 

The first hearing had Equifax’s former Chairman, Richard Smith, as the lone witness.  During that week, Mr. Smith testified before four Committees and took responsibility and apologized that the breach happened under his watch.  This week's hearing focused on better understanding how credit bureaus are regulated, how they protect consumer data, and whether there are gaps that Congress needs to fill.

The Committee heard from: 

  • Andrew Smith - Partner, Covington & Burling LLP, on behalf of the Consumer Data Industry Association
  • Marc Rotenberg - President, Electronic Privacy Information Center
  • Chris Jaikaran -  Analyst in Cybersecurity Policy, Congressional Research Service

Prior to the hearing, CUNA sent a letter to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown.  The letter reminded the Committee of the communications sent prior to the first hearing.  In the letter, CUNA urged the Committee to ensure consumers are not at further risk, and encouraged the Committee to consider the risk to consumers’ personal data in other sectors of the economy, including the retail sector, as well as at federal agencies like the CFPB.  Unfortunately, the Equifax breach is only the last in a long string on massive data breaches affecting consumers.

Since Equifax announced its breach, CUNA has been diligently working to help ensure credit unions and their 110 million members are informed of what to do and possible legal options credit unions can join.  At the beginning of October, CUNA filed a lawsuit against Equifax and held a member-call with the lawyers that will be representing CUNA and credit unions throughout the country.