Congress Considers Mandated Use of Chips & PINs to Fix Data Breaches

06 March 2014 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

Since the current US payment and financial system makes “things easy for fraudsters” Congress is considering a requirement that the US financial industry “adopt new card security measures used in other countries” as reported by Computerworld.  On March 5, 2013 members of the US House Financial Services Committee called for new cybersecurity mandate including Georgia Representative David Scott who asked:

Is there any reason Congress shouldn’t mandate that payment card security standards use the most effective technology in the marketplace?

On the other side of this debate there are current plans by Visa, MasterCard and others “to move to chip-based cards by late 2015” but as Computerworld pointed out:

…moving to a chip-and-PIN card system will be expensive, requiring new card-reading machines at all retailers.

Edmund Mierzwinski testified before the House Committee on behalf of US PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) and posted a blog endorsing the idea that Congress not endorse specific technologies such as:

“Chip and PIN” and “Chip and signature” are variants of the EMV technology standard commonly in use in Europe.

In case you don’t know what EMV means Wikipedia describes EMV as:

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, a global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards (IC cards or “chip cards”) and IC card capable point of sale (POS) terminals and automated teller machines (ATMs), for authenticating credit and debit card transactions.

What happens next is hard to say, but clearly the US payment and financial system be changed swiftly in the wake of the Target disaster.

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