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UPDATED POST: Dec. 19, 2013 at 5:31PM

After initially responding that it had "no comment" to rumors of a gigantic data breach at its retail stores, Target is now acknowledging the privacy incident.  Target has confirmed that the data breach affects customer names, credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates and three-digit security codes (CVV) for 40 million customers who had shopped at its stores from November 29 - December 15, 2013. The breach was limited to the point-of-sale systems in the retail stores and does not affect online customers. In a statement issued today, Target's CEO, Gregg W. Steinhafel, said, “we take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice."

Target has provided a notification letter to its affected customers via its website (click here for notice).  The online letter states that "the privacy and protection of our guests’ information is a matter we take very seriously."  Although Target provided its customers with standard contact information to the credit reporting agencies and the FTC, the notice fails to provide affected customers with a phone number to call Target (or its call center) should they have questions.  Target should talk to Zappos and see how that worked out for them!!

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ORIGINAL POST:  Dec. 18, 2013 at 11:39PM

Retail giant Target is apparently the latest victim of a data breach, affecting the in-store records of millions of shoppers' credit and debit cards.  The incident affects all 1,683 brick and mortar Target stores across the country from Black Friday (November 29th) through as late as December 15th.

Initial reports are indicating that the credit and debit card data was obtained through software installed on machines that customers use to swipe magnetic strips on their cards when paying for merchandise at Target stores.  The Secret Service has confirmed its investigation. Target, however, is refusing to comment about the incident at this point and has not confirmed the exact type of personal information that has been compromised.

'Tis the season for data breaches!

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