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Visa’s Ellen Richey Reflects on State of the Union

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“If we can agree to work together, and keep investing in innovative technologies, I’m confident we can continue to protect consumers and companies from fraud, capture cybercriminals and maintain trust in the payments system.”

President Obama made it clear during his January State of the Union address that protecting American companies and consumers from cyberthreats was a national priority. At Visa, we share this critical goal. We recognize, as the President has, that “neither government, nor the private sector can defend the nation alone.” In order to defeat cybercriminals, all of us – government, industry, law enforcement and consumers – must work together.

President Obama’s call for data breach notification legislation is an important step in government working more collaboratively with the private sector. While those of us who handle sensitive customer information are dedicated to vigilantly protecting it, we recognize cybercriminals are continuously working to steal this same information. And, while they fail far more often than not, we know that despite our best efforts they have infiltrated many of our country’s computer systems. When this happens, companies have an obligation to notify customers that their personal information may have been compromised. Currently, 46 states, Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico have laws regarding breach notification. Since many companies have operations in several states, they must comply with differing state regulations and an inefficient process of customer notification. The President’s call to Congress to develop a uniform Federal data breach notification standard will be a valuable tool to guide businesses on when, and by what means, consumers and law enforcement agencies must be notified if sensitive information has been exposed. Read More →