Fmr. Mass. Attorney General says EMV doesn’t go far enough

In a new editorial in The Boston Globe, former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley claims that the current planned implementation of EMV in America doesn't go far enough to protect the credit card information of citizens.

The main thrust of the article — co-authored by Coakley, who, after a failed gubernatorial bid last year, is now a counsel at Foley Hoag, and Retailers Association of Massachusetts president John Hurst — says that the planned use of "chip and signature" rather than "chip and PIN" will not protect customer credit information to the fullest extent it can under the new technology.

"The U.S. will continue to have the weakest card security in the world," they wrote.

With the deadline for EMV implementation fast approaching, many retailers are scrambling to ensure they can accept the new cards. EMV cards contain a chip which encrypts credit data before it is transmitted. In other countries where the cards are used, customers then have to enter a PIN in order to authorize the transaction. In the U.S., they will simply have to sign their name, which Coakley and Hurst believes nullifies the benefits of the new technology.

As they wrote in the article, shortly after chip and PIN was adopted in the U.K., fraud at retailers fell 67 percent while false charges from lost or stolen cards dropped 58 percent. Not requiring a PIN, they claim, will not help the U.S. improve it's position as one of the world's leaders in credit fraud losses.

"The combination of an encrypted chip and private PIN substantially reduces the value of data to cyber criminals. If a criminal cannot use a stolen card or create a counterfeit card, the value and reasons to steal the data in the first place disappear," they wrote.

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