CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—October 15, 2015. U.S. Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to explain why it revised a consumer protection advisory regarding current credit and debit smart card security technology, and whether the FBI is taking appropriate steps to protect consumers and warn against and deter payment card fraud involving lost or stolen cards.
On October 8th, the FBI posted an advisory stating that new cards equipped with microchip security technology were still vulnerable to fraud, and that the use of Personal Identification Number (PIN) authentication in addition to the microchip feature is far more secure than simply using a signature to verify transactions. Then on October 13th, the FBI issued a revised version of the advisory that no longer included the recommendations for consumers and merchants to use PINs. Durbin’s letter cited a news report that said the FBI withdrew and then revised its October 8 advisory in response to banking industry complaints, and Durbin asked the FBI for information about advocacy it may have received from banks and card network companies between October 8th and 13th.
“The revisions to the FBI advisory raise significant questions about whether current EMV 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,” said Durbin. “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 also sought clarification on FBI’s views on whether consumers should be enabled to use PINs in order to help reduce fraud, and asked if the FBI is committed to ensuring on an ongoing basis that the new payment card security technology is adequately protecting U.S. consumers against fraud.
Full text of Durbin’s letter is available HERE