In relation to the recent data breach incident at Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) stores, New Jersey's Senator Robert Menendez has asked the Federal government to make companies responsible and answerable when their customers’ financial information gets compromised.
FTC has been asked to take action
While speaking in a news conference outside a Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) store in New Jersey, Menendez said that he wants to ensure that retailers are giving higher priority to customers rather than profits. Adding to his statement, Menendez said that he asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) whether levying fines on the firms for security breaches is within its ambit, and if laws should be modified to protect consumer data.
"We need to know if the FTC has the teeth to hold retailers who failed to protect consumers' information accountable," Menendez said.
Menendez was not sure whether the FTC holds the power to charge fines or penalties against companies. Back in 2006, it was not within the power of the FTC to levy a fine on the parent company of Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx on account of a data breach. The senator wrote in his letter to FTC chairman Edith Ramirez that consumers in the country depend upon safe and secure transactions, and significantly at this crucial time of the year. The senator said that the retailers of the country are obligated to fulfill those expectations.
Also, the Democrat said that he is expecting the FTC to recommend some legislative measures to safeguard consumers from losing their financial information. He said that if the firms are not taking the responsibility of consumer data including providing protection from theft, then it should be answerable to the consumer that why such measures are not being taken.
Target to hold a follow-up on 6th Jan
Customers throughout the United States were impacted by the security breach in the Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) Stores from November 27th to December 15th.
In an email to The State, Target Corp spokeswoman Katie Boylan said that the company is dedicated to partnering with the authorities, who are probing the crime against Target.
Target said that it held a conference call for state attorneys general Monday, and will have a follow-up call on January 6th. The Department of Justice is probing the second-largest data breach in the United States history, according to Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT). Also, the company is working with the Secret Service to examine the cause of the breach.