As Congress continues data breach scrutiny, CUNA, partners correct merchant distortions

Saying “it’s time to stop the blame game and be part of the solution,” the Credit Union National Association and partner financial services associations corrected some distortions circulated by merchants in a Wednesday communication to members of the U.S. Congress.

The memo was sent to Capitol Hill as the House Energy and Commerce manufacturing and trade subcommittee held a hearing titled “Protecting Consumer Information: Can Data Breaches Be Prevented?”

The hearing is one of three this week on data security.

While Target and Neiman Marcus have recently accepted their share of responsibility for recent breaches, and have pledged to work with law enforcement and Congress to improve the situation, other merchants have not followed suit. Some in the retail industry have made, and continue to make, several misleading and counterproductive statements about the breaches and the position of credit unions and banks across the country, CUNA and its partners wrote.

The letter cited Identity Theft Resource Center research which found that 77% of breaches in 2013 occurred at healthcare facilities and businesses, including retailers. “That’s compared to just 4% at financial institutions,” the letter noted.

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