Press Release: Senator Kennedy Stands Up to Protect Americans From Identity Theft

WASHINGTON – The American Securities Association (ASA) today applauded U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) for standing up for Main Street investors by questioning why the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) needs to collect retail investor personally identifiable information (PII) in the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) database. Senator Kennedy’s question—offered to help protect Americans from identity theft—came before a Senate Appropriations hearing featuring SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. To watch the archived video of the question, beginning at 2:43:15, click here.

“ASA thanks Senator Kennedy for his leadership in highlighting the identity theft and privacy concerns the American people have in sending their personally identifiable information to a new government database which is ripe for hacking,” said ASA CEO Chris Iacovella. “Senator Kennedy is a true champion for Main Street and we look forward to working with him to further protect American investors.”

“We strongly support the SEC’s work to move the CAT forward and believe it can and should be up and running to better protect and surveil the market. However, retail investors didn’t cause the flash crash and the CAT surveillance system can work without collecting the most sensitive personal information of Main Street mom and pop investors. We look forward to working with Chairman Clayton to move the CAT forward without subjecting millions of Americans to identity theft and hacking.”

The collection of retail investor PII in no way bolsters the ability of the SEC to oversee equity markets more effectively as the Commission has had no issue bringing insider trading cases since FY2011 totaling 387. ASA believes the CAT can better surveil the marketplace by giving IDs to high-frequency and other large traders, financial institutions, hedge funds, and other corporations.

ASA has been at the forefront of advocacy to remove retail investor PII from the CAT. To read our recent letter to the SEC expressing data and privacy concerns, click here. To read our recent letter to the Senate Banking Committee, click here. To view a Morning Consult poll showing an overwhelming majority of American investors oppose sending their personal information to the CAT, click here.

To watch Senator Kennedy’s question beginning at 2:43:15, click here.

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ASA’s regional financial services companies work in communities across the country to create jobs, grow the economy, and increase prosperity for all Americans. The ASA exclusively represents the capital market and private client interests of its members and seeks to promote free market principles making it easier to access financial advice and capital. ASA members help Americans save for retirement, provide Main Street businesses with capital to grow, and advise hardworking Americans how to create and preserve wealth. For the latest updates follow @AmerSecurities and learn more at http://americansecurities.org/.