The Federal Trade Commission has approved an amendment to the Safeguards Rule that would require non-banking institutions to report certain data breaches and other security events to the agency. The FTC’s Safeguards Rule requires non-banking financial institutions, such as mortgage brokers, motor vehicle dealers, and payday lenders, to develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive security program to keep their customers’ information safe. In October 2021, the FTC announced it had finalized changes to the Safeguards Rule to strengthen the data security safeguards that financial institutions are required to put in place to protect their customers’ financial information. The FTC also sought comment on a proposed supplemental amendment to the Safeguards Rule that would require financial institutions to report certain data breaches and other security events to the Commission. The amendment requires financial institutions to notify the FTC as soon as possible, and no later than 30 days after discovery, of a security breach involving the information of at least 500 consumers. Such an event requires notification if unencrypted customer information has been acquired without the authorization of the individual to which the information pertains. The notice to the FTC must include certain information about the event, such as the number of consumers affected or potentially affected. The breach notification requirement becomes effective 180 days after publication of the rule in the Federal Register.
The Final Rule requires financial institutions to report notification events, defined as the unauthorized acquisition of unencrypted customer information, involving at least 500 customers to the Commission. The notice to the Commission must include: (1) the name and contact information of the reporting financial institution; (2) a description of the types of information that were involved in the notification event; (3) if the information is possible to determine, the date or date range of the notification event; (4) the number of consumers affected; (5) a general description of the notification event; and, if applicable, whether any law enforcement official has provided the financial institution with a written determination that notifying the public of the breach would impede a criminal investigation or cause damage to national security, and a means for the Federal Trade Commission to contact the law enforcement official.
The text of the approved amendment can be found here: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/ftc_gov/pdf/p145407_safeguards_rule.pdf