The Securities and Exchange Commission’s issuance of “mere ‘guidance’ regarding cyber-related disclosures falls short of providing useful and reliable disclosure, and it leaves companies in a state of quandary,” Commissioner Kara Stein said Tuesday.
In a speech to the Council of Institutional Investors on improving information to investors in the digital age, Stein also stated that the agency should “lead by helping to create standards for disclosure, using structured data and taxonomies, where applicable,” as doing so “resolves uncertainty and reduces the cost of information.”
Stein also debunked the popular notion that public companies are “overloading” investors with information.
She cited a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study pointing to complaints that investors are “so inundated that ‘it [is] difficult for investors to focus on the information that is material and most relevant to their decision-making.’”
Moreover, another report, she continued, called information overload a “pressing concern.”
But Stein countered that during her five years at the agency she has “not heard this concern expressed by even one investor. Not one.”
Her experience, she said, has been that investors and others “are asking for more information.”