Target Settles Data Breach, are Banks Next?

On March 19, Target agreed to pay $10 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by consumers harmed by its 2013 data breach. “The settlement strengthens the case of the banking industry which is asking Target and other retailers to cover the hundreds of millions of dollars incurred protecting their customers from losses,” said American Bankers Association President and CEO Frank Keating. “After covering consumers’ losses from its data breach, “Target should step up and cover [the banking industry’s] costs too,” he said, in a press release. “This settlement does little to address the real problem – stopping a breach before it happens. Target − and the many other retailers who have suffered recent breaches due to holes in their internal computer defenses − should be forced to do more.”

According to documents filed to the United States District Court in Minnesota this month, shoppers who were affected by the breach are eligible for damages up to $10,000 each. To claim damages, victims must prove, among other things, that unauthorized charges were made to their credit cards. They must also show that they invested time in addressing the fraudulent charges and incurred costs from correcting their credit report because of higher interest rates or fees, from replacing driver’s licenses or other forms of identification, or from hiring identity protection companies or lawyers.

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