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Why was Target storing the information of 70 million people in the first place?

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-19-14 05:51 PM
Original message
Why was Target storing the information of 70 million people in the first place?
I recently received from Target an offer for free credit card monitoring for a year. That means I was one of the people whose information was stolen. I have never given any vendor permission to store my credit card number.

I have not bought anything from Target in at least six years. I was never a big Target customer. Target was never going to allow me to buy anything on credit without presenting my card and info again.

Storing data costs money.

So, why was Target storing my credit card info, address, etc., in the first place?

After the Snowden revelations, I read or heard that the USG was selling our info to private vendors and also buying our info from private vendors.

So why was Target storing the information of 70 million people in the first place?

Was it to sell to the USG, or was it to sell to other private vendors? What about foreign governments? Would Target sell my info to them? What prevents Target, or someone who purchased from Target, from selling my info to criminals, intentionally or not?

Why is my address and credit card number a way for Target to increase revenues, anyway?

Why are there no controls over the way in which Target and others can use our personal info? Why are there no controls over the way that my government uses my personal info?


I think that I will be using nothing but cash going forward. Fat lot of good it will do after all the years of credit card purchases. Well, at least I stopped using Paypal after the wikileaks thing.

Dear Target Guest,
As you may have heard or read, Target learned in mid-December that criminals forced their way into our systems and took guest information, including debit and credit card data. Late last week, as part of our ongoing investigation, we learned that additional information, including name, mailing address, phone number or email address, was also taken. I am writing to make you aware that your name, mailing address, phone number or email address may have been taken during the intrusion.
I am truly sorry this incident occurred and sincerely regret any inconvenience it may cause you. Because we value you as a guest and your trust is important to us, Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring to all Target guests who shopped in U.S. stores, through Experians ProtectMyID product which includes identity theft insurance where available. To receive your unique activation code for this service, please go to creditmonitoring.target.com and register before April 23, 2014. Activation codes must be redeemed by April 30, 2014.
In addition, to guard against possible scams, always be cautious about sharing personal information, such as Social Security numbers, passwords, user IDs and financial account information. Here are some tips that will help protect you:

Never share information with anyone over the phone, email or text, even if they claim to be someone you know or do business with. Instead, ask for a call-back number.
Delete texts immediately from numbers or names you dont recognize.
Be wary of emails that ask for money or send you to suspicious websites. Dont click links within emails you dont recognize.

Targets email communication regarding this incident will never ask you to provide personal or sensitive information.


Thank you for your patience and loyalty to Target. You can find additional information and FAQs about this incident at our Target.com/databreach website. If you have further questions, you may call us at 866-852-8680.



Guest? LOL! Since when do guests buy up your things? Then again, at this point, "customer" would be presumptuous and "friend" would be a bigger lie than "guest." I love how they warn us to be careful with our own information after they allowed it to go only God knows where.

Apparently, the most stupid thing that I ever did with my own info was shop at Target half a dozen times six to ten years ago.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-19-14 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. P.S. The credit card monitoring is for Target's benefit.
According to my agreement with my credit card issuer, I don't pay for purchases made by someone else using my card and posing as me, aka fraud. Target and credit card issuers have been fighting over who is going to foot the bill for this.

I am not even sure I am going to sign up for the service. Would that just put my info on yet another bunch of computers that someone can hack? I haven't made up my mind about that yet because when I have tried to tell my issuer that I did not use my card to gamble online (one of the fraudulent uses of my card number in the past) it took me an hour to get it straightened out. An hour per fraudulent use can consume one's life in certain circumstances. So, I have a decision to make.

Again, why was Target storing the info of 70 million people in the first place?

I am going to copy that question, paste it in my search bar and see if I get any insights from Mr. Google.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-20-14 04:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Was Target storing
that info at the behest of the NSA?
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-20-14 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Dunno. Whatever the reason was, it was not for the benefit of customers,
Edited on Mon Jan-20-14 07:43 AM by No Elephants
I can tell you that.

Other people who had not shopped Target in years were also contacted. They thought that the offer of credit card monitoring had to be a ruse. I knew it was coming, so I did not suspect it for that reason. However, as I said, I am dubious about participating because I think it may do me further harm and I am not sure it can do me any good.

It is also a way to bring Target's records on me and 70 million other "guests" up to date, isn't it?


PS. Target sent me the notice at an email address that I never give out to anyone but family. I have another email address that I use when I buy things online. That gets me so much email from various stores that my inbox gets way too clutttered. So, I started another email account just for family and close friends. So, how come Target sent me mail at an email address that I never furnished to Target?

Sooooo creepy.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-20-14 04:46 AM
Response to Original message
2. I would hardly think they were selling that info
to the USG. The USG already has our info, don't they?

I seldom shop at Target. At any rate I wouldn't consider having a Target store brand credit card.

I hope you can attain some new level of security now that your information has been compromised.

Maybe I have misunderstood the entire thing.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-20-14 05:03 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I never had a Target card, only Mastercard and Visa.
I use only one card at a time and pay it off in full every month.

I don't recall which I was using the last time that I made a purchase at Target.

I don't know what info the USG has and in what form it has it. Maybe having my phone number, street address, email address and credit card info all in one place is more convenient than having to put together all the stuff that the NSA gathers from phone companies, email snooping, etc. And none of that would give them my credit card number-something often used to hunt people down as they charge purchases in one part of the country after another.

All I know is that, as I said, I read or heard from a source that seemed reliable at the time that it's a two way street: The USG sells info to private vendors and private vendors sell info to the USG.

Even if the USG is not buying info from retailers, they are sure selling it to each other and storing it way too long. Why are there not restrictions on what people can do with our personal info, how long they can store it, etc.? Another instance in which the USG seems to care less about protecting us.
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