CUNA and NAFCU Opt Out of Data Security Pact

21 February, 2014 (13:30) | Blog | By: admin

By David Morrison

CUNA and NAFCU both declined to participate in a new partnership between banks and retailers because the other groups would not stress that retailers must do their part to protect consumer data.

Thursday’s announcement of the as yet unnamed effort included some of the largest retail and banking associations, including the National Retail Federation, the Financial Services Roundtable, the American Bankers Association and the National Association of Convenience Stores. The groups said in the release they aimed to help retailers and financial institutions cooperate to protect data security.

“We are committed to working together to ensure customer personal and financial information is secure and protected,” said Tim Pawlenty, CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable. “Exploring avenues for increased information sharing and collaborating on innovative technologies and safeguarding data will be critical in defending against common enemies.”

Although they had been invited to join in the partnership, CUNA and NAFCU declined. The two cited, in part, an unwillingness to change the subject from the retailer’s responsibility for safeguarding consumers’ payment data.

“Though we support collaboration whenever possible, this unfortunately does nothing for consumers or small financial institutions like credit unions, who continue to pay for all these data breaches,” said NAFCU CEO Dan Berger. “We still believe national standards for retailers are necessary to protect consumers’ personal financial information, as well as a mechanism to reimburse small financial institutions for their losses.”

On background, a spokesman for CUNA explained the trade declined to join the partnership because it didn’t want to shift the focus of its Government Affairs Conference. Thousands of credit union executives are expected to travel to Washington next week to participate in the event, which includes appointments with legislators. The need for greater data protection by retailers is a talking point credit unions are preparing to deliver.

CUNA’s members want to discuss this issue without any implication that some sort of understanding has been reached between credit unions with the retailers, because it has not, the executive explained. Credit unions still believe retailers should share in the costs of these data breaches and our members will talk to lawmakers about that, he added.

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