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SEC’s CAT Database Shouldn’t Collect Retail Investor Data

SROs know they can’t protect American investor data, now look to shift losses of breach.

WASHINGTON – The American Securities Association (ASA) today sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) strongly opposing an attempt by self-regulatory organizations (SROs) to disclaim liability when the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) database is breached.

“Because a hack of the CAT is inevitable, ASA members are standing up for the privacy rights of America’s mom-and-pop investors to protect them from identity theft,” said ASA CEO Chris Iacovella. “We understand the very real concerns that our customers have about their personal and financial information (PII) being sent to a massive, centralized government database maintained in Washington D.C., and we will continue to legally resist any SEC rule that requires their PII to be collected,” Iacovella wrote in the letter.

“The SROs fully understand that it will be impossible for them to protect the personal and financial information of America’s retail investors and they are trying to use a conflicted third-party report to help them evade the costs associated with that reality. We believe the SEC is smart enough to see right through this charade and we urge the Commission to reject the Proposal.”

Last month, ASA once again called on the SEC to end the CAT’s collection of retail investor personal and financial data, following a massive cyber breach at federal agencies including the Treasury and Commerce Departments. 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.

In 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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