WSJ Article: Squaring Off!


We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Monday, January 29th, 2007

What do two experts think about data security breach notification laws? Our own Gail Hillebrand “squared off” with Oliver Ireland, of Morrison & Foerster in today’s Wall Street Journal, R5.

While we can’t post a link to the article (you need to be a WSJ online subscriber), I’m providing a brief summary: Consumers Union believes that consumers should have the strongest notice of data security breach, either under a state protection or a have a no-loophole, strong federal protection. Mr. Ireland believes that the various state laws are too inconsistent and that consumers should check their credit reports and monitor their credit for fraud.

WSJ also has an online poll and discussion, asking whether you check your credit information for signs of fraud. But the better question to ask the public instead is what they believe should be done to check for signs of fraud and prevent fraud and identity theft. Checking your credit information for fraud is helpful to figure out when the fraud already strikes, but it doesn’t do much good to help prevent it from happening.

And on another note regarding breaches and notices, stolen account numbers from the TJX data breach are popping up according to a recent CNNmoney article. What do you think about the value in getting a notice about a data breach that may have included your account numbers, SSN, etc?

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