Company Knew of Problem in Early March, But Didn’t Tell Consumers Until Last Week
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on Global Payments, Inc. to be more forthcoming with consumers in the wake of a massive data breach that has left 1.5 million credit card users exposed to hackers. After first revealing the breach to consumers last Friday, reports have indicated that the company first knew about the problem in early March yet waited weeks to notify cardholders.
In a letter to the Chairman and CEO of Global Payments, Senator Casey called on the company to immediately provide more information to exposed consumers and aid consumers in efforts to protect their private financial information.
“Identity theft can do incredible damage to a family’s finances, so Global Payments must do all it can to ensure that exposed consumers are protected,” Senator Casey said. “The fact that Global Payments knew about the problem in early March and waited weeks to tell consumers is completely unacceptable. The company needs to take immediate steps to be more forthcoming with consumers and explain why it took so long to let Americans know that their personal financial information was compromised.”
Global Payments is a Maryland-based company that provides payment processing services to MasterCard and Visa cardholders, among others. Friday, the company revealed that 50,000 consumers may have had their private financial information compromised by hackers. Estimates of those impacted have gone up, and now the company estimates that as many as 1.5 million consumers could be impacted. In a letter, Senator Casey called on the company to be more forthcoming and immediately aid any consumers whose identity was stolen.
In his letter, Senator Casey wrote, “Unfortunately, in this case it appears that a significant time period elapsed between the discovery of the theft and a public announcement. I request that you provide me with an explanation of this delay and the steps Global Payments has taken since discovering the breach.”
The full text of Senator Casey’s letter is below:
Mr. Paul R. Garcia
Chairman and CEO
Global Payments, Inc.
Dear Mr. Garcia:
I write to express my serious concern with the recent announcement by Global Payments, Inc. that a security breach has led to the theft of financial information from up to 1.5 million accounts. It is my understanding that this breach occurred between January 21 and February 25, 2012, and was discovered by Global Payments in early March.
Particularly troubling to me is the reported delay of almost one month that occurred between when Global Payments identified the breach and when this information was made public. Resolving cases of identity theft requires a significant investment of time and resources on the part of both the victims and their financial institutions. In the meantime, the victims of identity theft may suffer from significant financial hardships. It is crucial that consumers be notified as quickly as possible when breaches occur to allow them to take the necessary precautions.
Unfortunately, in this case it appears that a significant time period elapsed between the discovery of the theft and a public announcement. I request that you provide me with an explanation of this delay and the steps Global Payments has taken since discovering the breach.
Thank you for your attention to this request.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator