A new House data security bill moves forward with the backing of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

"NAFCU welcomes this legislation to tackle the data security issue from a financial institution perspective," Brad Thaler, NAFCU's vice president of legislative affairs, said. "We appreciate this bipartisan move …  to create a national standard of data protection for retailers."

CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle agreed with Thaler, saying that the bill protects American people by establishing a national standard for data security, protection and consumer notification.

The Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015, written by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). The bill was designed to supersede varying state laws with one, unified federal law detailing how notify consumers if their personal information may have been compromised.

When the bill was introduced last month, Blackburn said that it was imperative to take action to prevent hackers' success and provide safeguards to consumers if and when their data is compromised.

The proposed bill narrows the definition of personal information, establishes breach notification timeframes and puts enforcement authority almost exclusively with the FTC. Breach notice must be given within 30 days as opposed to a varied range in the existing state laws.  

While support grows, the bill does have its detractors. Welch, despite co-authoring the act, voted against the proposal in committee. According to his chief of staff, the congressman thought he had reach an understanding with Republicans on the committee that the bill would be strengthened prior to a vote. The staffer said the congressman would still support the measure if it is strengthened on the House floor.

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