A Consumer Data Security Bill Is Emerging That Could Succeed

By Mitchell, Charlie | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, November 2, 2017 | Go to article overview

A Consumer Data Security Bill Is Emerging That Could Succeed


Mitchell, Charlie, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


A backroom deal between the financial sector and retail groups could unlock consumer data security legislation after years of stalemate, although significant policy and political obstacles must be cleared before Congress can notch a historic achievement on cybersecurity.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., chairman of the House Financial Services institutions and consumer credit subcommittee, revealed last week that he is drafting a data security and breach notification bill. Industry sources said the measure is based on a landmark compromise between longtime rivals on the issue, the Financial Services Roundtable and the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

That agreement has been quietly circulated among stakeholders but hasn't been publicly released.

Sources said the language is specifically designed to avoid pitfalls that doomed legislative efforts in the last Congress, when the Financial Services Committee passed a bill supported by the banking industry while the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed one supported by retailers.

This time around, the Financial Services panel now appears determined to move a broadly supported bill, while Energy and Commerce is still undecided. In any case, Energy and Commerce almost certainly will either produce its own bill or demand a referral of any measure passed by Financial Services.

"I don't see Luetkemeyer following the last bill. He wants a bill that can get enacted" and knows that the previous approach won't get him there, said an industry source who supports the FSR-RILA work on the issue, which also involves the 21st Century Privacy Coalition of major telecom companies.

A congressional staffer said the Luetkemeyer legislation will be unveiled "in the near future," which could mean early next year.

Luetkemeyer declined to discuss specifics of his planned approach, but said he is "working on a bill in conjunction with industry."

He did say the Equifax breach pointed up the need for timely notice when consumers' information is hacked, and he criticized the patchwork of 48 different state notification requirements that companies must navigate. …

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