Swipe the card, not the information, please

Categories: Business

Last week, the Minnesota House unanimously voted to pass the Plastic Security Act (HF1758), meaning in the future, when you charge something potentially embarrassing at Sex World or mundane like orange juice at Cub Foods, those retailers could be prohibited from storing info kept on your credit card's magnetic strip—which includes sensitive information such as pin numbers and those super-secure three digit security codes.

"This bill simply puts into law what retailers have already agreed to do when they take your credit or debit card," states bill co-author State Representative Jim Davnie (DFL-62A).

Although there has been an agreement in the past that retailers not store sensitive data, this isn't always the case—one example being a recent incident where hackers stole information from the St. Paul Marshall Field's store at a cost millions of dollars in card replacement fees and fraud investigations.

Perhaps most interesting, the bill could allow credit unions to recoup their costs from retailers who cause security breaches, when in the past they've had to pick up the tab. While retailers have voiced concern that blame for security slips could be placed unfairly on them, it seems highly likely that the bill will pass through the Senate regardless.

"With one committee left to clear the house," states Mara Humphrey, Director of Governmental Affairs for the MN Credit Union Network, "We hope the Plastic Security Act has picked up enough momentum to continue it's movement into the Senate."


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