NATSO Opposes Data Security Legislation

NATSO, joining a diverse coalition of retail groups, is preparing to send a letter to the House Financial Services Committee this week opposing the recently introduced Data Security Act of 2015 (H.R. 2205).  That legislation, which is favored by the banking community, would unnecessarily impose a variety of complicated and expensive obligations on the retail sector.  

One section of the legislation, for example, would apply the so-called Safeguards Rule to retailers, including travel center operators. The Safeguards Rule was written more than 15 years ago for the financial services industry for complex products like home mortgages, auto loans, and insurance products. It is designed to ensure that financial entities keep their customers' personal information secure. It makes little sense to impose these rules on unrelated retail sectors that do not handle and control such sensitive information. 
 
The legislation also would require retailers to notify their customers in the event of a data breach even if the data breach occurs through no fault of the retailer and the retailer has no reasonable means of contacting all of the affected customers.  
 
Another provision would require any employee that touches "sensitive account information," including credit or debit cards, to first pass a background check.  This would subject tens of millions of frontline employees (such as those operating a cash register, waiters and waitresses at restaurants, etc.) to background checks. 
 
The House Financial Services Committee will consider the legislation this week. Although the committee is expected to approve the bill, NATSO will continue to actively oppose this legislation. 
David Fialkov's photo

David Fialkov

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO. In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov direct's NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes. Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies. Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns. His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security. Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School. He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah. More

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