Plastic Card Security Act: Another measure to safeguard credit card holder's interest

Duran Mueller
Jul 30, 2007
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Doesn't matter if it is a big or small purchase, credit cards are a favorite method to pay. "Anything from groceries to a $1000 gizmo, my Blue Cash pays for all." says Linda proudly.

Credit card holders have unmistakable faith in their credit cards and thrive endlessly over the entire hassle free shopping experience credit cards offer. But, how many of them are aware of dangers of identity theft?

When asked about this topic, Linda is pretty much positive "Yes, I hear of such cases everyday, but my credit card has never given me any bad experience." Is this overconfidence about plastic, that makes us callous and gives an opportunity for identity theft?

Sadly, yes but now the government has taken steps regarding such sensitive concerns and safeguarding the credit card holder's private information from the prying eyes of muggers. A new law will take effect in Minnesota which makes it illegal to store a customer's PIN (Personal Identification Number), security code or magnetic stripe information for more than 48 hours after the transaction is authorized.

If any merchant doesn't respect this deadline, penalties are inevitable. Banks, credit unions and financial institutions will be given powers to sue any merchants who are caught keeping private financial data, in case of any violation of respective laws.

Named as the Plastic Card Security Act, the merits of this law were soon visible to many other sate governments and taking example from Minnesota- Texas, California and Massachusetts are in the process of adapting it.

Plastic Card Security Act. is based on the similar standards developed by Visa, MasterCard and American Express, which require merchants to implement plethora of security controls to protect consumers' identity and payment data. The need for such a law was pushed by the fact that a lot of retailers, were unnecessarily keeping private and financial information of credit card holders on their systems for too long, thus posing a grave security risk.

People have welcomed this law, though not everyone looked thoroughly convinced. The very fact that there is a hand in glove relation between the credit card companies and merchants, it will effect the Plastic Card Security Act.

The usual practice with merchants regarding credit card holder's data is that no personal information is kept after a customer's transaction has been authorized. The date, time, lane number and last four digits of the credit-card number are automatically purged after 90 days. Now the Plastic Card Security Act has taken this security measure a step further and made it mandatory for them to purge the data within 48 hours, and makes them accountable for any security breach.