US retailer Target has revised the number of customers whose personal information was stolen in a widespread data breach during the holiday season, now reporting a range from 70 million to 110 million people.
The stunning figure represents about a third of all American adults at the low end, and is nearly three times as great as the company’s original estimate at the upper end. The theft is one of the largest ever of retail data.
In Australia, Target is owned by listed conglomerate Wesfarmers and apart from sharing a brand, has no links to the US retailer.
Not only did Target’s announcement disclose a vastly expanded universe of victims, but it revealed that the hackers had stolen a broader trove of data than originally reported. The company now says that other kinds of information were taken, including mailing and email addresses, phone numbers or names, the kind of data routinely collected from customers during interactions like shopping online or volunteering a phone number when using a call centre.