With Target (NYSE:TGT) struggling to recover from its data breach scandal and a number of other companies including eBay (NASDAQ: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.