Democrats target big banks for more details on data breaches

by MPA18 Nov 2014
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) have sent letters to 16 major banks and other financial firms requesting detailed information about recent data breaches. Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley were among the policymakers' targets.

The duo is asking the financial institutions to explain how the hacking happened and to be transparent about what they lost. Warren and Cummings said their goal is to gather information to inform possible new federal cybersecurity legislation.

The news comes a month after JPMorgan announced  it had no plans to notify the estimated 76 million affected by its most recent security breach. When asked why, a spokesman said, “That’s just what we’re doing,” according to MarketWatch.

In their letter, Warren and Cummings wrote that law enforcement officials believe the U.S. financial sector is one of the most targeted in the world. “Your ability to protect consumers and safeguard their personal information is central to earning and maintaining consumer confidence in our economic system.”

Federal officials warned companies last month that hackers have stolen around 519 million financial records over the past 12 months. Out of that number, nearly 439 million of those records were stolen in the past six months,

Warren, who is active in Washington’s fight for financial reform, also helped establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She has urged Congress to give the Federal Trade Commission more authority to regulate data breaches.

 In October, the two lawmakers called on the U.S. Government Accountability Office to investigate nonbank mortgage lenders and the risks they pose to consumers.

Click here to read about how to hacker-proof your client’s data.

Click here to read their letters.
 

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