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California Bills Would Address Consumer Financial Information Security

Wikimedia / Petr Kratochvil

Wikimedia / Petr Kratochvil

Two bills dealing with credit card security will be taken up over the next week in California legislative committees. Recent data security breaches at Target and other big retailers prompted the legislation.

One of the bills would require companies to issue updated credit cards with pin numbers and “smart chips” starting in 2017.

State Senator Jerry Hill says the new high tech cards are proven to be effective against cyber crime. 

“In the United Kingdom today from 2007-2012, their fraud level, because they’ve gone to chip and pin technology, their fraud level has dropped 70 percent," says Hill. "Ours in the United States in that same period of time has doubled.”

Steve Schatz with the Retail Federation of America says retailers spend billions each year fighting fraud and the industry backs a conversion away from “outdated” magnetic strip cards.

“We are committed to working with our partners, be it banks, credit card companies, or financial institutions, to better protect consumers from harm,” says Schatz.

A second bill would require retailers to inform consumers immediately about data security breaches.

The measure would also require retailers to delete a customer’s credit card information soon after a transaction and forbid them from selling personal information to third parties. 

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