Retailers Urge Congress to Standardize Data Theft Notification

NATSO joined more than 40 organizations representing a cross-section of the U.S. economy in urging Congress to pass legislation that would standardize public notification of data theft for all businesses that handle sensitive personal information, without exemption.

In a Nov. 6 letter sent to House and Senate Leadership, organizations representing fuel retailers, grocers, convenience stores, hotels and other merchants said a single federal law which applied the same rules and penalties to all businesses would ensure consistent public notice and enforcement.

Signatories included NATSO, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), the National Retail Federation, the National Restaurant Association and the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and the National Association of Convenience Stores among others.

Citing recent data breaches at JPMorgan Chase, the Department of Homeland Security and Apple’s iCloud service, the groups said, “If Americans are to be adequately protected and informed, any legislation to address these threats must cover all of the types of entities that handle sensitive personal information. Exemptions for particular industry sectors not only ignore the scope of the problem, but create risks criminals can exploit.”

In summer 2014, JPMorgan Chase suffered one of the largest data security breaches to date, affecting 83 million accounts. However, financial regulators do not require financial institutions to provide detailed customer notice as is required of other businesses under law. 

A 2014 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that industry, educational institutions and government entities reported more than 63,000 data security incidents last year. Of those, 10.8 percent were in the retail sector and 10 percent were reported by hotels and restaurants combined.

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman's photo

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman develops and executes communications strategies to advance NATSO’s public relations and advocacy goals. Tiffany also develops and oversees partnerships related to the NATSO Foundation’s public outreach initiatives. Tiffany lives in the D.C. metro area with her husband and their two sons.More
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