Business Take: Will Target and eBay Data Breaches Cost Companies Customers?

With Target  struggling to recover from its data breach scandal and a number of other companies including eBay  and Spotify handling breaches of their own, the American public finds itself struggling with questions of trust. Where is it safe to use a credit card? If giant companies can be targeted, is it possible for anyone to truly protect their data? 

"When you lost a customer's trust it seems like it's pretty hard to win it back," said host Jason Hellmann on Business Take, the show that gives you the Foolish perspective on the most important business stories of the week.

"There doesn't seem to be a loss of trust," countered Business Take panelist Daniel Kline. "It's almost like an accepted cost of doing business."


Where the breaches could become an issue, Kline explained, is when the stolen data starts being used for nefarious purpose. That does not appear to have happened on a widespread basis in any of the current data breaches. The eBay breach, for example, did not compromise any credit card data, merely customer user names and passwords. Changing their password may have inconvenienced customers, but that's not likely to anger anyone the way having false credit card charges would.

Even the Target breach, which compromised tens of millions of credit card numbers, does not appear to have been followed by the hackers using those numbers to steal money -- at least not on a widespread basis. Millions of credit and debit cards were canceled as a result of the breach -- and some theft may have occurred -- but there have been no media reports alleging massive theft in conjunction with the Target case.

"The effects of these things depends upon the number of customers who actually have to deal with implications," said panelist Jake Mann, before being lost to the show with technical difficulties.

The increasing amount of difficulty a number of companies have had keeping data secure has Americans wary, but the vastness of the problem provides cover for the companies involved. If only Target was hit than the fallout would be worse than it has been with multiple companies being breached. It seems unlikely that the breaches -- at least the ones so far -- are going to cost any specific company customers as long as the companies address the problem and take steps to keep data secure.

Are you worried about your personal information or credit card info being breached? Has it already happened? Watch the full video then share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Your credit card may soon be completely worthless
The plastic in your wallet is about to go the way of the typewriter, the VCR, and the 8-track tape player. When it does, a handful of investors could stand to get very rich. You can join them -- but you must act now. An eye-opening new presentation reveals the full story on why your credit card is about to be worthless -- and highlights one little-known company sitting at the epicenter of an earth-shaking movement that could hand early investors the kind of profits we haven't seen since the dot-com days. Click here to watch this stunning video.

The article Business Take: Will Target and eBay Data Breaches Cost Companies Customers? originally appeared on Fool.com.

Daniel Kline has no position in any stocks mentioned. Jake Mann has no position in any stocks mentioned. Jason Hellmann has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends eBay. The Motley Fool owns shares of eBay. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2014 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Understanding Stock Market Indexes

What does it mean when people say "the market is up 2%"?

View Course »

Forex for Beginners

Learn about trading currencies and foreign exchange transactions

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum