Lawmakers call on Target for action after data breach

Two Democratic senators called on Target to protect its customers after reports on Thursday that the retail giant suffered from a data breach.

Target confirmed Thursday that it had suffered an unauthorized data breach between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, affecting “approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts.”

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“Target alerted authorities and financial institutions immediately after it was made aware of the unauthorized access, and is putting all appropriate resources behind these efforts,” the company said in a statement.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said in a statement that he is “strongly concerned that the store failed to act as quickly as it should have.”

“Notification should be immediate and comprehensive,” he said, urging Target “provide financial data security services, including free access to credit reporting and monitoring services – fully funded by the company – as well as sufficient insurance to protect affected consumers from any possible harm from identity theft.”

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) also urged Target to protect its customers.

“Target should explain what the company is doing to fix the problems and assist consumers whose data was exposed,” he said in a statement.

“We need to quickly uncover the extent of the harm suffered by Target customers from this massive data breach and fix the security weaknesses exploited by these fraudsters prowling for customers’ sensitive information.”

The Federal Trade Commission — which has brought cases against companies it feels have not done enough to protect consumer data from unauthorized access — issued consumer guidance related to the Target data breach, but declined to comment on the breach itself.

Consumers who visited Target during the time of the data breach should monitor their accounts and credit reports and report unauthorized charges to their banks, the agency said on its consumer information site