Durbin presses FBI to clarify position on PIN number security
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on Thursday called on the FBI to explain its recanting of specific debit and credit card security measures that it announced earlier this week.
On Oct. 8 the FBI released a consumer protection advisory stating that new debit or credit cards containing microchip security technology are still much more susceptible to fraud if not verified with a Personal Identification Number. The agency adjusted the warning on Tuesday, removing its preference for PIN numbers vs. signatures.
In a letter to FBI Director James Comey, Durbin raised questions about the revocation of the advisory amid alleged pressure from the banking industry.
“The revisions to the FBI advisory raise significant questions about whether current (Europay MasterCard Visa) security technology is adequately protecting consumers and whether the FBI is taking appropriate steps to warn against and deter payment card fraud involving lost or stolen cards,” Durbin said. “Did representatives of the American Bankers Association contact the FBI between the issuance of the October 8 advisory and the release of the revised advisory? If so, did the American Bankers Association request that the advisory’s recommendations for consumers and merchants to use PINs be removed?”
Durbin's letter contains eight questions about the details of the decision to change the advisory, as well as the FBI's overall oversight of credit and debit card security.
The letter asks the FBI for answers to these questions no later than Nov. 15.
In 2011, 85 percent of debit card fraud was verified by signature rather than PIN number, Payments Journal reported.
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