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Why Canada’s Credit Cards Are Smarter than US Cards

Marie Fields/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Will the massive security breach at Target lead to new chip technology and pin numbers for U.S. credit cards?  Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel wants banks and retailers to approve changes.

In Europe and Canada, cards already have smart chips installed and readers are used at retailers and restaurants, making it harder for thieves to profit from the sort of massive data breach that hit Target during the holiday shopping season.

The attack led to the theft of tens of millions of credit card numbers.  Hackers appear to have stolen many phone numbers and e-mail addresses, as well.

Despite previous calls to update U.S. cards, retailers and banks have feuded for years over card-swipe fees and the cost of making security upgrades.

“Computer networks are vital to American capitalism and society, but they remain surprisingly vulnerable to thieves and hijackers,” says an editorial in The Washington Post.

The newspaper, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, says, “Congress must now get serious about cybersecurity.  The private sector has much at stake but may not be able to cope on its own.”

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