ELECTION YEAR POLITICAL DONATIONS GIVE RISE TO CONCERNS ABOUT POTENTIAL DATA BREACHES AND INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR SUCH A BREACH

            As the 2012 election season increases in the coming months, more and more individuals will be making political donations to their preferred candidate.  The candidates’ campaigns are also increasingly using mobile credit card devices to process contributions.  In addition, a variety of political action committees (PAC) are setting up websites to allow individuals to make on line contributions with their credit cards. 

          Data breach experts, however, are warning individuals that they are particularly vulnerable to credit card and identity theft if the campaigns and PACs are not using proper data security.

          Recently a Washington Times story highlighted the concern of data breach experts.  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/3/romney-super-pac-donors-put-at-credit-card-risk/.  The article pointed out that a super PAC for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign was using an online donations system that lacked basic security measures and potentially exposed its donors’ credit card data to the public. 

          Another recent article on www.creditcards.com also outlined the potential problems and data security concerns for online political donations.  http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-political-donations-caution-1282.php.  The article provides individuals with a variety of tips for making a safe credit card contribution and discusses the pros and cons of on line donations.

          If political campaigns or super PACs suffer a data breach, a key question will be whether the entities have insurance to cover any first or third party claims that are made by individuals whose PII has been lost or stolen.