Swipe at Your Own Risk

Retailers often don't protect data, and it's going to cost them $25,000 fines
By Ben Rubenstein,  Newser User
Posted Oct 7, 2007 5:27 PM CDT
Credit card being swiped through electronic funds.   (Index Open)
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(Newser) – Think your credit card bill is high? Some businesses may soon have to pay Visa $25,000  for not protecting your credit-card data. Merchants are required to meet standards to keep computer systems safe from hackers. But only 44% of the 327 largest merchants have validated their compliance, reports the Wall Street Jounal. This month Visa is going to start fining offenders. But they won't tell you who the offenders are.

Exposing rule-breaking businesses would be like "drawing a road map for thieves," says Visa. Still, there are clues for consumers: Compliant merchants don't print the full account number on the customer receipt, and their card-swipe devices will be encased in tamper-proof plastic. Next month, data-security company ComplyGuard will begin providing "no-fraud zone" stickers to safe businesses.