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MasterCard, Visa Split Out From Target Databreach Lawsuit

Visa and MasterCard will face class-action lawsuits over the questionable security of their payment cards in the wake of the massive 2013 Target payment-card breach, according to Law360.

Claims against the card brands have now been split off from class-action lawsuits against Target. In an order dated Aug. 13, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation agreed to sever claims against the card brands, saying those claims were sufficiently different from claims against the retailer.

"The claims against Target will relate solely to the data security breach that occurred in 2013," the panel explained. "In contrast, the claims against Visa and MasterCard will focus on their development of chip and PIN technology, why they have declined to implement that technology in the U.S., and whether the technology would have prevented harm to plaintiffs and class members -- not just from the Target data breach, but from any number of data breaches in the last two decades."

That sends claims against the card brands back to U.S. District Court in Utah. The claims had been transferred from a federal case in which Target and the credit card companies had both been defendants.

Target announced the breach in December 2013. Personal information on as many as 70 million Target customers may have been stolen, and up to 40 million customers may have had their credit and debit card information stolen.

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