MTS Board Members Ask For Faster Data Security Upgrades
San Diego City Council members David Alvarez and Lori Zapf sent a letter Thursday to the Metropolitan Transit System asking the public transit agency to accelerate upgrades to its credit card security.
The letter follows a KPBS report on Monday that MTS is not compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, a set of rules and best practices meant to combat cybercriminals and prevent credit card fraud. Failure to comply creates financial liabilities for transit riders and taxpayers.
Alvarez and Zapf both sit on the MTS board of directors. In their letter to agency CEO Paul Jablonski, they said: "The public should not have to question whether their local government and agencies are doing everything possible to protect their financial and personal information when accepting payment for services."
MTS says it has spent some $700,000 assessing and upgrading its data security, but it has not given itself a deadline for reaching compliance with industry standards.
Alvarez and Zapf also called on MTS to upgrade the Compass Card system to include stored value — a function promised in 2013 that has not been fulfilled. They asked MTS staff to present an update on both issues at the next MTS board meeting, scheduled for 9 a.m. on March 17.