business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that “when federal prosecutors disclosed last week that computer hackers swiped more than 40 million credit-card numbers from nine retailers in the biggest such heist ever, it was the first time that many shoppers had heard about it. That's because only four of the chains clearly alerted their customers to breaches. Two others -- Boston Market Corp. and Forever 21 Inc. -- say they never told customers because they never confirmed data were stolen from them.”

The four companies that made the disclosures: TJX Cos., BJ’s Wholesale Club, the DSW shoe store chain, and the Dave & Buster’s restaurant chain, each of which “disclosed to customers they were breached shortly after the intrusions were discovered.

The chains that apparently did not: OfficeMax, Barnes & Noble, and Sports Authority. The Journal notes that “computer searches of their Securities and Exchange Commission filings, Web sites, press releases and news archives turned up no evidence of such disclosures,” and the companies would not comment on whether they told anybody.
KC's View:
This strikes me as sort of an easy test.

Which one of these groups would you want your company to be in? The group of companies that disclosed that hacking of credit/debit card numbers? Or the group that didn’t?

If you prefer being in the latter group, it’s time for some sort of intervention. Because that approach to business – and your customers – simply won’t do in this day and age.
It is a delusional approach to business, because it isn’t right…and because eventually this sort of information always gets out, no matter how hard you try to prevent it from doing so. (Just ask John Edwards about the inevitability of disclosure.)