Report: Target data breach was preventable

Shoppers walk past a Target store in Pasadena, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach that occurred just as the holiday shopping season shifted into high gear. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

January 21, 2014 12:11:39 PM PST
The massive data breach at Target might have been prevented through a program the retailer dropped.

The Wall Street Journal reports the current CEO helped pull the plug on a pilot program to embed smart chips in credit cards 10 years ago. Target at the time worried the technology would slow checkout speeds and upset customers.

Experts say the recent theft of 70 million Target customers' information may finally force retailers and banks to invest in chip technology, which is already popular in Europe and Canada.