ABA, Broad Coalition Call for Federal Data Protection Standard

In the wake of a trail of consumer data breaches, a vast coalition including the American Bankers Association — as well as groups representing the financial, retail, insurance, telecom and technology industries — today urged leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to advance substantive data security legislation that protects consumers.

The coalition called for a “flexible, scalable standard” for data protection that is tailored to the size and complexity of the organization as well as the sensitivity of the data the organization holds. It also urged a standard policy of timely notice to consumers and law enforcement after a breach that would preempt a conflicting patchwork of state laws. It called for consistent enforcement of the new national standards by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general, unless the organization is already regulated under a data security regime such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (for financial institutions) or HIPAA (for health insurers).

“Data security impacts every sector of the economy,” the coalition said. “We therefore look forward to working with you and your colleagues to ensure that all sectors employ sound data security and alert consumers when a breach may result in identity theft or other financial harm.”