Visa, Mastercard and Discover have warned that credit card holders’ personal information could be at risk after a security breach.
The firms said there had been “no breach” of its own system, instead blaming a third party.
Security blog KrebsOnSecurity, which first reported the story, said industry sources believed more than 10 million cards may have been compromised.
Reports suggested the stolen details had been obtained in New York.
The Wall Street Journal quoted its own industry sources as saying card-processing firm Global Payments was the company that suffered the breach. Shares in the company fell by more than 9% on Friday.
Global Payments has not responded to requests for comment.
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Thursday marked a victory for Google users who want more control over their personal data online.
Bloomberg reports that Google will join a host of other web companies that have pledged to enable a “do-not-track” button on a range of web browsers. This privacy option is intended to give users an active hand in the kinds of information companies like Google collect.
Do-not-track is similar to the Do Not Call registry, which lets people opt-out of telemarketing calls. When do-not-track track is activated a user’s browsing history can not be sent to third-parties or used to customize the ads they see to their search habits. However, Consumer Reports points out that if you search the web in Google’s Chrome browser while signed in to a Google account, your data will still be used for targeted ads — even if you’ve activated the do-not-track” button. The Wall Street Journal also notes that Facebook will still be able to track users’ Likes across the web.
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California’s Office of the Attorney General has gotten agreements from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard, and Research In Motion to improve privacy protections on mobile apps.
Under the agreement, the companies will ask developers to include privacy policies in their apps so that users will be informed about the data that apps will access and what will be done with the data before they download the apps.
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In the United States, a massive Internet protest last week led by Wikipedia and Google drove congressional leaders to place controversial anti-piracy legislation on hold.
But in other parts of the world, another proposal to increase copyright enforcement is gaining momentum, despite protests from opponents concerned about Internet censorship.
On Thursday, the European Union and 22 of its member states signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA — a major step toward enforcement of the copyright treaty. Eight countries, including the United States, had signed the agreement this past fall.
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