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Chinese Hackers Target Personal Information of Americans

ASA calls on new SEC leadership to protect America’s retail investors.

WASHINGTON – The American Securities Association (ASA) once again called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to remove personal and financial information (PII) of America’s mom-and-pop investors from the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) database, following news reports Chinese hackers are targeting PII to carry out further cyber attacks on the American people.

“Chinese hackers continue to target the American people, businesses, and our government institutions,” said ASA CEO Chris Iacovella. “The CAT is a sitting duck that makes every American investor and retirement saver’s data privacy an easy target for Chinese hackers. Given this reality and the hacks on our government in December, the SEC’s new leadership must protect America’s retail investors by immediately removing their personal and financial information from the CAT. If the SEC resists doing the right thing, then Congress should quickly pass the Protecting Investors’ Personally Identifiable Information Act before it’s too late.

Last month, ASA applauded the introduction of the Protecting Investors’ Personally Identifiable Information Act, sponsored by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), and co-sponsored by members of the House Financial Services Committee, to remove retail investor PII from the CAT.

In January, ASA sent a letter to the SEC strongly opposing an attempt by self-regulatory organizations (SROs) to disclaim liability when the CAT database is breached. Following a massive cyber breach at federal agencies including the Treasury and Commerce Departments ASA once again called on the SEC to end the CAT’s collection of retail investor personal and financial data. ASA also sent a comment letter to the SEC highlighting how collecting this unprecedented amount of data will cause extraordinary harm to American investors while achieving minimal regulatory benefits.

Last May, ASA filed a lawsuit—first announced in a Wall Street Journal op-ed—against the SEC to protect American investor privacy and launched, a nationwide grassroots movement mobilizing all Americans to help stop the collection of retail investor data. ASA withdrew its lawsuit after the SEC issued a request for public comment, allowing the American people to make their voices heard.


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


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