Mercedes, the Financial Privacy Guru Not the Car



Recent financial system hacks have made the already important role of financial privacy advisor even more vital.  In February, hackers used an international financial messaging service to steal more than $80 million from Bangladesh’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Financial institutions are attractive targets for hackers, and attorneys are increasingly forced to address cybersecurity-related issues in addition to their main practice areas.  

Mercedes K. Tunstall, a public policy partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in Washington, speaks on this and other financial data cybersecurity threats in a video interview with Bloomberg BNA Senior Legal Editor Jimmy H. Koo. Tunstall discusses how she was able to bridge advising clients on compliance with consumer financial services laws with advising them on privacy and cybersecurity issues.

Consumer financial services have a lot of sensitive information and it is necessary to understand what that sensitive information is and that the information is secure, Tunstall told Bloomberg BNA. For everyday consumers, Tunstall suggested signing up for credit monitoring services and moving away from credit and debit cards. Credit cards have all of the necessary information for a transaction to go through, she said. However, if that information is stored on a mobile device, criminals have to use sophisticated means to get into the device and use that information, she said.

Among other things, Tunstall also shared her thoughts on the recent cybersecurity guidance issued by New York’s Department of Financial Services as well as the role of the Consumer Protection Bureau in protecting privacy and security.

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