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Texas Sen. José Menéndez Files Data Security Bill
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 6:50 AM

Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) filed S.B. 1409 on Tuesday.  His bill is the Senate companion to H.B. 2333 filed by Rep. Gary Elkins (R-Houston) in late February. The Texas Credit Union Association has been working with both Elkins and Menéndez on bills to protect consumers and financial institutions from the consequences of data security breaches of businesses that keep and fail to adequately protect credit and debit card data.

“Data breaches of merchants, resulting in the theft of credit and debit card information, is one of the biggest problems facing credit unions today,” said Cornerstone Credit Union League President/CEO Dick Ensweiler.

The bills require that businesses report breaches of their systems to the Texas attorney general’s office within 24 hours of discovery of the breach. They must also send notice to each financial institution that issued a credit or debit card affected by the breach as soon as possible. Businesses could be penalized up to $50 for each credit and debit card that was compromised.

The money from the fines would go to the Crime Victim Compensation Fund. The funds from fines would be available to pay claims to consumers who suffered a financial loss due to the breach and to reimburse financial institutions for costs associated with the breach.

“We appreciate Sen. Menéndez and Rep. Elkins' leadership on the data breach issue,” said Jeff Huffman, Texas Credit Union Association president. “It is imperative that the payment card processing system is protected from criminal hackers. Unfortunately, all too often, consumers are exposed to potential identity theft issues and having their credit and debit cards reissued numerous times a year due to the failure of merchants to protect valuable card data that comes into their possession.”

For more information, please contact Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman at 469-385-6488 or jhuffman@txcua.coop.