WASHINGTON Feb 13 Banks and retail groups
announced on Thursday they are joining together to work on
cybersecurity issues, a sign the groups may be moving past
recent squabbles over who deserves the blame for data breaches.
The Financial Services Roundtable, Retail Industry Leaders
Association and several other trade associations said the new
partnership would focus on sharing more information about cyber
threats, developing technology to protect consumers and
discussing areas of disagreement between banks and merchants.
"Exploring avenues for increased information sharing and
collaborating on innovative technologies and safeguarding data
will be critical in defending against common enemies," Tim
Pawlenty, chief executive of the Financial Services Roundtable,
said in a statement.
Bank and retail industry groups have been at odds for years
over cyber issues, but the recent data breaches at Target
and Neiman Marcus made the dispute more
Financial services groups want retailers to bear more of the
costs of replacing cards after breaches occur. Retailers say
banks have been slow to adopt new, more secure debit card
U.S. lawmakers have considered weighing in on a dispute over
how consumers are notified of data theft. But issues of how to
communicate across industries and settle who pays when a breach
happens are likely up to the firms to sort out.
"The solution needs to be through cooperation," Jennifer
Platt, vice president of federal operations at the International
Council of Shopping Centers, said in a statement.
"We hope that this partnership will be a constructive step
in helping to create a pathway to improved consumer confidence,"
The trade associations said they would form working groups
made of their experts, representatives from member companies and
others. They will also focus on thefts that do not involve debit
or credit cards and on how to protect the growing area of mobile