Friday, February 10, 2006

Bank of America Debit Card Breach Grows to 200,000 and BofA Isn't Alone

The Bank of America debit card breach seems to be growing. Estimates are now that 200,000 customers have been affected AND it goes further than just Bank of America. There is evidence that Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo customers have been compromised, also.

Although, the banks aren't commenting, David Lazarus of the San Francisco Chronicle writes:

"But well-placed sources within the banking and credit card industries now tell me that the company in question is a leading retailer in the office-supply business."

Allegedly, the retailer in question knew of the breach last month.

There is also speculation that California's disclosure laws might have been violated by the retailer:

"It's unclear at this point whether the retailer violated state law by not directly notifying customers of the breach, instead allowing customers to be ambiguously alerted by their banks."

"State Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, a leading privacy advocate in Sacramento, said the spirit, if not the letter, of the law appears to have been violated."

For the full story by David Lazarus:

Security breach fallout reaches 200,000 debit card holders

For anyone, who has been violated by this, here is a link from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, explaining the laws and what your rights are:

California Identity Theft Laws

A fellow blogger (travis) left a comment on my post, Boston Globe Hands Out 202,000 Credit Card Numbers about a federal bill modeled after California's proactive legislation:

"Since the S.1789 bill is in the Judiciary Committee, it doesn't look like it will get much attention from those guys for a while. Here's the bill summary. There have been no hearings yet."

These laws are designed to protect all of us. Hopefully, the federal bill will move a little quicker and California's laws will be enforced to the letter of the law.

I highly recommend letting your opinion be known by contacting your elected representatives.

No comments: