Removing Barriers Blog

Senate Hearing on Consumer Data Privacy
Posted September 27, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation met for a hearing Wednesday entitled: “Examining Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy,” which examined the privacy policies of top technology and communications firms, reviewed the current state of consumer data privacy, and offered members the opportunity to discuss possible approaches to safeguarding consumer privacy more effectively.

There was a general consensus among the members of the Committee and the witnesses that a strong, comprehensive, preemptive federal privacy law is needed in order to effectively protect the privacy interests of American citizens.

    -   Chairman Thune (R-SD) expressed concerns about the regulatory burden on small and medium sized companies in implementing new privacy laws

    -   Ranking Member Nelson (D-FL) questioned the witness panel repeatedly regarding the proper regulatory enforcement agency for potential federal privacy legislation.

In preparation for the Senate Committee hearing on Wednesday, CUNA sent a letter to Chairman Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Nelson (D-FL) asking them to “include serious discussion on data security and breach notification” in their consideration of national privacy legislation. In the letter CUNA wrote,

“Credit unions and other financial institutions are heavily regulated in their use and security of consumer data by numerous federal laws and regulations, which ensure security and proper use of consumer data. That said, financial institutions are also subject to strict Banking Secrecy Act laws, which require the collection of detailed information from every account holder or person with access to accounts. Credit unions are also examined at the federal and state level, depending on charter, to ensure compliance with these requirements. Thus, the current laws and examination practices ensure that credit unions’ members’ private information is properly protected.”

CUNA looks forward to working with Congress on furthering the privacy and security of consumer data.