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Target’s Data Breach

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According to a U.S. News & World Report article, as the year 2014 started, there were over 317 million people living in the United States. Based on a January update by Target regarding the data breach, a good number of us shopped at Target recently.

“As part of Target’s ongoing forensic investigation, it has been determined that certain guest information—separate from the payment card data previously disclosed—was taken from Target. This theft is not a new breach, but was uncovered as part of the ongoing investigation. At this time, the investigation has determined that the stolen information includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million individuals.”

A February 4, 2014 statement on Target’s website states that because of the data breach, they plan to implement chip-enabled smartcard technology by early 2015, which is six months earlier than previously planned.

Regardless of what Target plans to do in the future, the company is dealing with litigation now. A class action lawsuit was recently filed in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin. A Wisconsin State Journal article reports that not only are consumers are suing, but banks are joining in too.

“Eric Haag, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, said that this is the first Wisconsin case against Target over the data breach, and one of about 80 pending nationally. But this case is among the few that seek to certify not only a class of customers but a class of banks.”

What could be even more worrisome to the retailer are reports that two months prior to the incident, its own cybersecurity staff suggested an in-depth review of the payment system security. According to the American Banker article, the review was postponed initially leaving hackers able to compromise the system.

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March 14th, 2014 at 12:47 pm