- The Washington Times - Friday, July 17, 2015

CVS said Friday that the personal information pertaining to customers of its online photo processing platform may have been compromised as a result of an apparent security breach.

“We have been made aware that customer credit card information collected by the independent vendor who manages and hosts CVSPhoto.com may have been compromised,” the Massachusetts-based pharmacy chain said. “As a precaution, as our investigation is underway we are temporarily shutting down access to online and related mobile photo services.”

CVS did not name the third-party vendor, but PNI Digital Media of Vancouver, British Columbia, acknowledges online that it provides a “proprietary transactional software platform” used by retailers including CVS, Costco and Walmart Canada across 19,000 retail locations.

PNI is “investigating a potential credit card data security issue,” the company told CNN Friday.

Last week, WalMart Canada said it had been “informed of a potential compromise of customer credit card data” related to its own photo service. Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper reported that upwards of 60,000 customers may have been affected.

Staples, the international office supply chain still reeling from an embarrassing recent security breach that compromised the data of more than 1 million customers, acquired PNI last year.

“Nothing is more central to us than protecting the privacy and security of our customer information, including financial information,” the company said in a statement Friday. “We are working closely with the vendor and our financial partners and will share updates as we know more.”

A Staples spokesperson told Canada’s Torstar news service last week as details emerged of the Wal-Mart breach that the company takes the protection of information “very seriously,” adding that customers are not responsible for any fraudulent activity on their accounts if reported in a timely fashion.

CVS launched its online digital photo service in 2004 to offer customers the ability to upload images to the web and then have printed copies available for pick-up at nearby stores. The company has more than 7,600 stores nationwide and was ranked the second-largest retail pharmacy in the United States in 2013 with respect to prescription drug sales.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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