Federal data privacy standard is needed now more than ever, says CUNA to Congress

WASHINGTON, DC (May 1, 2019) — Credit Union National Association (CUNA) continues their efforts to ensure data privacy and security is a top priority for Congress. Ahead of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation hearing today, CUNA sent a letter for the record to advocate for a strong, national data privacy standard.

Legislation with substantial security requirements is a priority for America’s consumers who are under attack, and current federal law leaves the door open for criminals, terrorist organizations and foreign governments to steal payment and other personally identifiable information to the benefit of their illicit activity. CUNA believes that Congress cannot provide consumers with data privacy without addressing data security.

“Taking a narrow view that this debate is about Facebook, Amazon and Google would be a grave mistake,” CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle states in the letter. “There is no way for Congress to provide consumers with the data privacy they need without enacting robust data security standards that are preemptive of state law and apply to everyone.”

The trade association believes that Congress should:

  • Treat Data Privacy as a National Security Issue – Breaches are being perpetrated by foreign governments, domestic organized crime syndicates and rogue international actors that use the data to help fund their illicit activity.
  • Fix the Weak Links in the System – Entities that hold and use consumer data are not all subject to federal data security requirements. Laws like the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act require financial institutions, including credit unions, and healthcare service providers to have robust privacy and data security protections.
  • Set a Strong Federal Standard that Preempts State Laws – State privacy regulations can help consumers but will also result in a patchwork of protections that will vary from state to state and likely result in many different privacy and data security requirements. The best approach for consumers and business moving forward is for Congress to develop a strong privacy law that applies to all businesses and entities that collect, house or otherwise possess information.

“There is an urgent need for Congress to act to set a federal data privacy standard,” Nussle says.

Read the letter in full here

About CUNA

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 135 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit


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