WASHINGTON (2/7/14)--The government should take a "big view" of the payments system and ensure that consumer data is protected at each step of the process as new data security standards are considered, Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo said during a Thursday Senate Banking Committee hearing entitled "Oversight of Financial Stability and Data Security."
The Credit Union National Association made similar suggestions in letters sent for the record of three data security hearings this week.
Regulators and legislators need to think in terms of consumers who use a credit card, Tarullo stressed in his testimony. The weakest link in the security chain is where criminals will direct their attention, and more broad, general data security standards are needed, he emphasized. Tarullo said uniform disclosure standards are also needed.
Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, also a witness, agreed that it may be necessary to impose legal and other requirements to ensure that consumers are notified after a data breach has occurred at a retailer.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Martin Gruenberg said the data security practices of those in the non-banking sector need the most attention from regulators. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) suggested a common data security standard across industries is needed.
U.S. Treasury Secretary for Domestic Finance Mary Miller, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Acting Chairman Mark Wetien also testified during the hearing.
CUNA this week encouraged members of Congress to take a broad look at how consumer data is secured and the improvements that are necessary to prevent future breaches from taking place.
"Focusing on one payment method as the absolute answer to solving data security breaches is both shortsighted and distracts from the greater need of a federal data security framework for all entities," CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney wrote.
For more on the letters, use the resource link.