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In Congress: Patent bill, data breaches on the agenda this week
WASHINGTON (4/1/14)--Possible consideration of patent reform legislation and a data breach hearing are two items credit unions can look out for this week in the U.S. Congress.
As reported by News Now last week, The Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 (S. 1720) is on the Senate Judiciary Committee's markup agenda this week, but the action could be pushed back another week depending on other committee priorities.
The data breach hearing, titled "Data Breach on the Rise: Protecting Personal Information from Harm," is scheduled to be conducted Wednesday by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Federal Trade Commission Chair Edith Ramirez, William Noonan of the U.S. Secret Service's cyber operations division, and U.S. Government Accountability Office Director of Information Security Issues Gregory Wilshusen will testify during the hearing's first panel. Financial Services Roundtable CEO Tim Pawlenty, Retail Industry Leaders Association President Sandra Kennedy and iSIGHT Partners, Inc. Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Tiffany Jones will testify as part of a second panel of witnesses.

Last week--in a separate data security hearing--Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) brought attention to the fact that there is public confusion about who is held financially responsible for the costs that occur when a merchant's data is not secure. She noted that the companies collecting consumers' personal information are not held financially responsible for the costs. Instead, she said, credit unions and other financial institutions bear that burden ( News Now March 27).

Other hearings scheduled this week include:
  • A Wednesday House Appropriations financial services and general government subcommittee hearing on the U.S. Treasury's fiscal 2015 budget; and
  • A Wednesday House Financial Services oversight and investigations subcommittee hearing on allegations of discrimination and retaliation against Consumer Financial Protection Bureau employees.


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