Target (TGT) yesterday said in an email statement that its staff received information about malicious activity during last year's data breach, but the team chose to do nothing about it. The company is investigating its response to the breach which compromised 40 million credit and debit accounts and the personal information of as many as 70 million customers beginning on Black Friday. The team at Target received an alert the next day about malicious activity - one of hundreds the company receives daily - from an outside company that monitors its systems.
The news that Target didn't react to the warning about the data breach comes as reports show General Motors (GM) knew about ignition problems more than a decade before it issued recalls of the vehicles in question. We want to know how you feel about this. Today's poll question asks: Do you still trust a company that is alleged to have ignored a problem impacting its customers? Cast your vote and post your comments as well.
In the corresponding video, Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task spoke with Lauren Lyster about how companies like GM and Target have handled their safety and security issues. The situations are often more complicated than they may seem at first blush. For Target, security experts have said it was likely that Target's security team received hundreds of such alerts on a daily basis, which would have made it tough to identify the specific threat as particularly malicious. Task said it’s easy for sideline observers to say the companies should have acted sooner, but the issue is how quickly the company responds. “How does it move up the food chain to someone who could actually take action?” asked Task. He says that consumers would like to think companies are going to do the right thing at the right time but companies are fallible.
Lyster and Task also discussed a deal reached by a bipartisan group of senators yesterday to restore emergency long-term jobless benefits through late May. The five-month agreement would be retroactive, allowing beneficiaries to receive benefits dating back to December 28, when unemployment benefits lapsed. But the law still needs to pass through Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he hopes to hold a vote when the Senate returns from next week's recess. Task said he doesn’t think there will be a vote on this until late March at the earliest. “And then it’s going to very difficult to get it through the House,” he said. “So, I would say less than 50% chance this becomes law.”
McDonald's (MCD) and some of its franchisees have been hit with multiple class-action lawsuits filed by workers in California, Michigan and New York. The suits allege that the fast-food giant is systemically stealing their wages by making employees work off the clock and not paying overtime. The lawsuits also allege that workers are made to buy their own uniforms, which cuts into their minimum wage salaries. Task said that these kinds of allegations have been made against Wal-Mart and Amazon. “I’m frankly not surprised that this lawsuit has come out and there will probably be others against other companies in the days and weeks ahead.”
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