Attorney General Becerra: Target Settles Record $18.5 Million Credit Card Data Breach Case

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

Multi-State Settlement Requires Target to Implement Specific Measures to Protect Customer Information from Cybersecurity Threats

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced a record $18.5 million multi-state settlement with Target, in response to allegations that over 40 million customers had their payment card information compromised during the 2013 holiday season after the company failed to provide reasonable data security. California will be receiving more than $1.4 million from the settlement, the largest share of any state. Today’s settlement reflects the commitment of the California Department of Justice to defending Californians from cybersecurity threats and holding accountable companies that fail to fulfill their responsibility to protect customer information.

“Families should be able to shop without worrying that their financial information is going to get stolen, and Target failed to provide this security,” said Attorney General Becerra. “This should send a strong message to other companies: you are responsible for protecting your customers’ personal information. Not just sometimes – always. As our state's chief law enforcer, it's my job to give Californians the confidence to know that I've got their back.”

As part of the settlement, Target is required to adopt advanced measures to secure customers’ information. The settlement requires Target to employ an executive to oversee a comprehensive information security program and advise its CEO and Board, encrypt or otherwise protect payment card information to make it useless if stolen, and adopt other technological measures. In addition, today’s settlement in part requires Target to integrate business practices recommended in the Attorney General's Data Breach Reports previously published by the California Department of Justice.  

Attorney General Becerra is committed to protecting consumers. Since taking office in January 2017, he has announced a $586 million multi-state settlement with Western Union for wire fraud scams; a $9.8 million settlement with Walgreens for failing to adhere fully to requirements imposed by California law for the dispensing of certain prescriptions drugs under Medi‑Cal; a five-year prison sentence for Oswaldo Cabrera of Coalición Latinoamericana Internacional for defrauding immigrants; opposed actions by the Trump administration to roll back important protections for student loan borrowers and working families saving for retirement; and joined a federal antitrust lawsuit with 39 other states charging six generic drug-makers with an illegal conspiracy to divide customers and markets and increase prices for two generic drugs.

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