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Nussle to Retailers: We'll Back Off When Merchants Step Up
Monday, November 3, 2014 6:35 AM

Credit Union National Association President/CEO Jim Nussle strongly took issue last Thursday with attempts by merchants to shirk their responsibilities for the exposure of customer data through their own data breaches.

Nussle made statements in response to a letter from the CEOs and presidents of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Retail Federation, the National Grocers Association, the Food Marketing Institute, and the Merchant Advisory Group. The merchants' letter maintains, in part, that costs in breaches are borne roughly equally by financial institutions and retailers.

"As we have documented in two surveys this year," Nussle said, "data breaches at retailers have cost credit unions and their members a minimum of $90 million—and those are the costs only for breaches at Target, for $30 million, and Home Depot, at nearly $60 million. With the many other breaches that have also occurred—at Staples, Neiman-Marcus, and others—certainly credit unions have incurred millions more in costs this year."

Nussle reported that in CUNA's most recent survey, just released Oct. 30, "Credit unions told us that, to date, they have received no reimbursements for the Target breach, now more than 10 months after the breach occurred." 

"In short," he added, "we'll back off highlighting the costs of data breaches on credit unions when merchants step up and take responsibility, adopt the same data standards, and stop making consumers vulnerable."