Retail Association's Data Assurance Exchange to Convene March 16

Task force to examine retail-specific data assurance practices, will meet throughout 2006

Arlington, VA — February 27, 3006 — The retail vertical's first effort to examine industry-specific data assurance practices will get underway on March 16, when the first meeting of the Retail Industry Leaders Association's Data Assurance Exchange will bring together data security practitioners from the largest and fastest growing retailers and product suppliers to identify data security issues to discuss and prioritize.

The initial meeting of the RILA exchange, in Arlington, Va., is the kickoff event for a year-long examination of retail data security opportunities. The exchange, a member-driven task force, will meet throughout 2006.

"The continued safeguarding of customer transaction data and employee information is a top priority for our membership," said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. "We're looking forward to an interactive forum where participants can identify areas that might need additional attention."

The first meeting is open to both members and non-members. The task force will gather periodically to examine in greater detail the topics that are identified in the first meeting. The exchange is inviting security services companies of all kinds to contribute input. Companies that sponsor the exchange's meetings may attend them and participate. Nearly 50 retail companies from four continents have responded to the invitation to the first meeting, according to the RILA.

The RILA is a trade association of companies in the retail industry. Its member companies include more than 400 retailers, product manufacturers and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.4 trillion in annual sales. RILA members operate more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers, have facilities in all 50 states, and provide millions of jobs domestically and worldwide.



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