MINNEAPOLIS — The theft of credit card and other data from Target Corp. shoppers during the holiday season was more far reaching than previously believed, affecting up to 70 million additional consumers.
“I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this,” said Target chairman, president and chief executive officer Gregg Steinhafel. “I also want our guests to know that understanding and sharing the facts related to this incident is important to me and the entire Target team.”
Target announced on December 19 that data — including credit and debit card numbers and security codes — had been stolen from up to 40 million of its customers.
The disclosure of the data breach had a significant impact on sales. Target expects a fourth quarter same store sales decline of 2.5%.
The company has since discovered that personal information, separate from the payment card data previously disclosed, was also taken. That information includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million people.
Target has said it will attempt to contact affected consumers and has set up a web site (target.com/databreach) where consumers can get additional information. The company has promised that consumers will have no liability for any fraudulent charges arising from the breach and will offer a year of credit monitoring and identity theft protection to everyone who shopped its U.S. stores.