Target's behavior in all this is not at all unusual, but it is completely wrongheaded. Here's my advice to any company that suffers a data breach like this: Tell your customers the truth. Don't let the PR people and marketers make everything sound bright and happy. Your customers are going to hear the actual truth eventually, and if it contradicts what you have said in your statements, it is going to be harder for them to trust you in the future. Weaselly, soft-soap statements are no way to restore trust.
Evan Schuman has covered IT issues for a lot longer than he'll ever admit. The founding editor of retail technology site StorefrontBacktalk, he's been a columnist for CBSNews.com, RetailWeek and eWeek. Evan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for his column every Tuesday.
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