Senators call on FTC to investigate Target breach

The FTC should have more authority to sanction victoms of data breaches, Senator Richard Blumenthal says

A U.S. senator has called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Target's security practices after the large retailer reported a data breach affecting 40 million customer credit and debit cards.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, urged the agency to begin an immediate investigation. "If Target failed to adequately and appropriately protect its customers' data, then the breach we saw this week was not just a breach of security; it was a breach of trust," Blumenthal wrote in a Sunday letter to the FTC.

The breach could expose Target customers to "significant and potentially permanent harm," Blumenthal wrote."Those Target customers who have their data misused by hackers or thieves could lose their good credit and in turn their ability to purchase the goods and services they need for their well being and the well being of their families," he added. Even customers whose stolen data will never ultimately be misused must live with the fear and uncertainty of knowing that it could be."

Blumenthal said he will push to give the agency more authority to penalize companies that have large data breaches. The FTC doesn't have the authority to impose fines for data breaches.

In addition, Senator Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, called on the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to investigate the breach.

Target said last week credit and debit card information, including the name of the customer, the credit or debit card number, the card's expiration date and the three-digit security code, was stolen at its stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel, in an email to customers Saturday, said they will not be responsible for fraudulent charges. Victims will get free credit monitoring from Target, he wrote.

The breach "was a crime against Target, our team members and most importantly you -- our valued guest," he added.

The FTC doesn't comment on active investigations, but the agency has investigated similar data breaches in the past.

In a March 2008 settlement with TJX, which owns T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and other retailers, the agency required the company to establish a comprehensive information security program and submit to biennial data security audits over the next 20 years. The company's 2005 breach, which it reported in 2007, affected more than 45 million customer credit and debit cards.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags governmentsecurityinternetdata breache-commercetjxTargetU.S. Federal Trade CommissionRichard BlumenthalChuck SchumerU.S. Consumer Financial Protection BureauGregg Steinhafel

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?