Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Urges Senate Commerce Committee to Enact Robust Data Security Standards
Posted April 30, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

Prior to the Senate Commerce hearing on data privacy, CUNA wrote to Chairman Wicker and Ranking Member Cantwell urging Congress to act to set a federal data privacy standard.

CUNA applauds the committee for taking up the critical issue of data privacy and pledged to work with them to create a strong, national data privacy standard. It should go without saying that any serious data privacy statute should include robust data security requirements that all who hold consumer data must follow. Unfortunately, as we have watched the debate over a federal data privacy standard develop, discussion of security requirements has been virtually nonexistent.

Nevertheless, we do not see any way for a data privacy law to achieve its objectives without a strong security standard that is preemptive of state law and applies to all entities that hold or use consumer data. Simply put: Congress cannot provide consumers with data privacy without addressing data security.

CUNA called on Congress to:

  • Treat data privacy as a national security issue;
  • Fix the weak links in the system; and
  • Set a strong federal data standard that preempts state laws.

The American consumer is under attack and current federal law leaves the door open for criminals, terrorist organizations and foreign governments to steal payment and other personally identifiable information to the benefit of their illicit activity. Taking a narrow view that this debate is about Facebook, Amazon and Google would be a grave mistake. There is no way for Congress to provide consumers with the data privacy they need without enacting robust data security standards that are preemptive of state law and apply to everyone.