Friday, December 27, 2013

What The Target Data Breach Tells Us About Credit Processing Flaws

Don’t let Target fool you; the breach of magnetic stripe information from 40 million U.S. credit and debit cards, including debit PINs protected with breakable encryption, is a very big deal. The company’s crisis response has focused on regaining consumer confidence by convincing people that they are protected against fraud. It’s a legal confidence game, one in which the entire retail and financial services industries conspire to instill a sense of security where there is none. They want you to believe that they have our backs and will protect us from fraud. Do so at your own peril.

I don’t know what irritates me more, that we as consumers are so gullible as to place much of our financial health in the hands of companies built solely to extract as much wealth as possible from us or that the credit card data breach was predicted, repeated, and completely avoidable. Ignorance rules on both sides, and the consumer bears the majority of the expense.