Removing Barriers Blog

Letter to Senate Leadership Urging Passage of CISA and Data-Security Bills
Posted October 20, 2015 by CUNA Advocacy

Today we sent a letter to Senate leaders to both urge passage of the bipartisan CISA bill, and remind them about the critical need for data security. This follows a letter we sent last week urging passage of CISA. While passage of CISA would be an important step towards improving our defenses against cyber threats, we feel that the Senate’s work must not stop there. We urged the Senate to expedite consideration of legislation to establish a strong, but scalable, national data security standard to safeguard sensitive and personal consumer data, such as the one proposed by Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) in the Data Security Act of 2015 (S. 961).

By outlining a security process that is adaptable to future changes in technology, the Data Security Act would enable businesses of all sizes and complexity to better protect consumers from harm. Importantly, S. 961 also recognizes that it is not productive to duplicate data protection and consumer notice requirements that are already in place for financial institutions under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and subsequent regulations. The passage of these legislative measures would demonstrate the Senate’s strong commitment to better protecting consumers and businesses from the scourge of cyber threats and data breaches.

Despite the alarming rise in the number and sophistication of cyber threats, a federal standard to protect consumer data across the payment system currently does not exist. With the recent data security breaches at major retailers and others that have put millions of consumers at risk, the need to pass legislation to establish such a standard could not be more evident.