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Ask Legislators to Help Stop the Data Breaches

Data breaches are a big problem. For the past several years, merchant data breaches have been increasing. Although most consumers have probably only heard about a few breaches, over 1,500 data security breaches occurred in 2017 which exposed more than 178 million data records.

Credit unions are required by law to have the highest consumer protection standards. Merchants on the other hand, are not subject to the same federal data protection standards. This means that some merchants fail to invest sufficiently in data security measures. As a result, it can be easier for hackers to gain access to a person’s credit card number, debit pin number, or other sensitive data through a merchant. Hackers can then sell this information to bad actors, or use it themselves to fraudulently buy things with the stolen data.

When a data breach occurs, the merchants are not required to pay the costs to send individuals their new cards, and generally pay none of the fraudulent charges an individual may have on their cards or accounts. Additionally, credit unions are limited in what they can inform you in regards to the breach, like which merchant was the cause of your data being compromised.

Tips to Protect Your Personal and Financial Privacy

At Summit Credit Union, protecting the privacy and security of our members’ account is a top priority. That’s why Summit has many safeguards in place to protect member information in our systems. It’s also why our CEO & President, Kim Sponem, testified before Congress earlier this year in support of legislation that would develop a strong national data security standard including:

  • Requiring other businesses to protect consumer information
  • Holding businesses accountable when they do not
  • Requiring timely notification of suspected breaches to consumers, law enforcement and regulators

When data breaches at retailers like Target, Home Depot, Best Buy or others are discovered, Summit takes action immediately to change account numbers and issue new credit and debit cards for members affected. In 2017 alone, Summit reissued thousands of cards and incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses from card fraud resulting from others’ data breaches. You may be surprised to know that at this time, the costs to your credit union are not shared by the businesses who caused them.  

Take action today! Reach out to Congress and tell them to Stop the Data Breaches.

Click here to send a pre-written editable email to your Representative and Senator

If you’d like to learn more about what you can do, please visit or watch the video below.