CUNA Regulatory Comment Call


March 3, 2004

STUDY OF BIOMETRICS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

You may also e-mail them to Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn at mdunn@cuna.com and to Assistant General Counsel Michelle Profit at mprofit@cuna.com; or mail them to Mary and Michelle in c/o CUNA’s Regulatory Advocacy Department, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, South Building, Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20004-2601. You may also click here for a full copy of this comment request: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?position=all&page=9895&dbname=2004_register

Commenters are encouraged to use the title "FACT Act Biometric Study" to facilitate the organization and distribution of comments. All submissions must be in writing or in electronic form.

Credit unions can send comments directly to the Federal Trade Commission. Credit Unions may e-mail comments to factabiometricstudy@do.treas.gov or facsimile transactions to FAX Number (202) 622-2310 re: FACT Act Biometric Study. Comments sent by paper mail should be sent to: Susan Hart, Financial Economist, Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Compliance Policy, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Annex Room 3174, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20220, ATTN: FACT Act Biometric Study. Anyone submitting comments is asked to include his or her name, address, telephone number, and if available, FAX number and email address. Treasury will consider all timely comments, and will make all comments in their entirety, including any personally identifying information such as name and address, available for public inspection and copying. Please do not submit confidential or financial information.

BACKGROUND

The President signed the FACT Act into law on December 4, 2003, Public Law 108-159, 117 Stat. 1952. The FACT Act amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.), and will provide consumers, companies, consumer reporting agencies, and regulators with new tools that enhance the accuracy of consumers’ financial information and help them fight identity theft.

The FACT Act provides that the “Secretary of the Treasury shall conduct a study of the use of biometrics and other similar technologies to reduce the incidence and costs to society of identity theft.” The Act also requires the secretary to submit a report to Congress containing the findings and conclusions of the study, together with recommendations for legislative or administrative actions as may be appropriate, within 180 days from the date of enactment of the Act.

The Act also requires the Secretary to “consult with Federal banking agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, and representatives of financial institutions, consumer reporting agencies, Federal, State, and local government agencies that issue official forms or means of identification, State prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, the biometric industry and the general public in formulating and conducting the study.”

QUESTIONS REGARDING THE STUDY

  1. What range of biometric solutions could the private sector use to reduce the incidence and costs to society of identity theft by providing convincing evidence of who performed a given financial transaction?














  2. How are biometric technologies being applied now to reduce the costs and incidence of identity theft?














  3. What other technologies are being applied now to reduce the costs and incidence of identity theft?














  4. What biometric technologies could be applied in the future to reduce the cost and incidence of identity theft?














  5. Does the private sector have adequate incentives to adopt biometric and other technologies to reduce the costs and incidence of identity theft?














  6. What is the rate of adoption by the financial services industry of biometric solutions for the purpose of verifying or authenticating who performed a given financial transaction? By other industries?














  7. What is the rate of adoption of other similar technology solutions provided by the private sector for the same or similar purpose?














  8. What are the public’s concerns with the use of biometrics?














  9. What are the costs of the use of biometrics? What are the risks of using biometrics?














  10. What are the tradeoffs for the consumer in using biometrics?














  11. What are the benefits to consumers of the use of biometrics?














  12. What has been the experience of industries that have used biometrics for the purpose of providing convincing evidence of who performed a given financial transaction? What has been the customer reaction?














  13. What has been the experience of industries that have used other or similar technologies for the same or similar purpose? What has been the customer reaction?














  14. What barriers are there to the greater use of biometric and other technologies to reduce the cost and incidence of identity theft?














  15. How would the use of biometrics affect large credit unions and small credit unions?














  16. Do you have any other comments regarding the benefits or costs to credit unions of this study?











  17. Please submit your address and phone number.





Eric Richard • General Counsel • (202) 508-6742 • erichard@cuna.com
Mary Mitchell Dunn • SVP & Associate General Counsel • (202) 508-6736 • mdunn@cuna.com
Jeffrey Bloch • Assistant General Counsel • (202) 508-6732 • jbloch@cuna.com
Catherine Orr • Senior Regulatory Counsel • (202) 508-6743 • corr@cuna.com