National Consumers League

Consumer group applauds trio of Senators for requesting Congressional hearing to examine data security standards

January 3, 2014

Contact: Ben Klein, NCL Communications, (202) 835-3323, benk@nclnet.org

Washington, DC – The National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s pioneering consumer advocacy organization, is applauding a trio of Senators who are asking for a hearing on the nation’s data security standards. In the aftermath of the recent Target data security breach affecting 40 million credit and debit cards, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Charles Schumer (D-NY) have signed a letter requesting that the Senate Banking Committee hold a hearing “as soon as reasonably possible.”

“It is time that Congress examine our data security standards and determine how business can better protect consumers’ financial information,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director. “When our personal information is compromised, not only does it have the potential to cost the consumer significant time and money, but it also threatens our confidence in the security practices of the companies with whom we share our information. There is more that businesses can and should be doing to ensure our sensitive information is protected. Congress can be very helpful in pressing for a far stronger set of policies to protect private consumer financial data.”

The Senators were prompted to pen the letter to Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, by the Target data breach, which took place at the height of the busiest shopping time of 2013, between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

In early December, just a few days before news about the Target data breach emerged, NCL released a white paper discussing the impact of data breaches on consumer vulnerability to fraud and the resulting loss of trust in the online economy. The NCL white paper included a number of policy recommendations to better protect consumers’ data including calling for a national data breach notification standard and urging the Obama Administration to explore incentives and penalties to encourage private sector businesses to better protect consumer data.

NCL’s letter to Sen. Johnson urges Congress to take a closer look at the problem and corresponding solutions at a hearing. Federal agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, cyber security experts and advocacy groups of NCL can offer concrete proposals to better protect consumer data.

To read the letter, click here.

To read the white paper, click here.

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.