Molly Snyder

A gun reform group on Wednesday called on discount retail chain Target to ban the open carrying of firearms in its stores. The petition from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America follows demonstrations by a pro-gun group bringing long guns into Target stores. Following the petition, Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder wrote in an email, "The safety and security of our guests and team members is our highest priority. Target doesn't sell firearms or ammunition and is committed to following all state and federal laws. However, I don't have any specific information to share regarding this organization."

Target's security software detected potentially malicious activity during last year's massive data breach, but its staff decided not to take immediate action, the No. 3. U.S. retailer said on Thursday. "With the benefit of hindsight, we're investigating whether if different judgments had been made the outcome may have been different," company spokeswoman Molly Snyder said in a statement. The disclosure came after Bloomberg Businessweek reported on Thursday that Target's security team in Bangalore had received alerts from a FireEye Inc. security system on Nov. 30 after the attack was launched and sent them to Target headquarters in Minneapolis.

Target said cyberthieves stole credentials from one of the retailer's vendors in order to access its system, according to an ongoing forensic investigation into a data breach that may have exposed information from as many as 110 million customers. The company said that since disclosing the hack Dec. 15, it cleared its system of the malware that had been planted. "In addition, since that time we have taken extra precautions such as limiting or updating access to some of our platforms while the investigation continues," Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said in a statement Wednesday.

Target on Wednesday announced plans to eliminate 475 jobs from its global workforce. The cuts come about a month after Target reported a major breach of customer information during the holiday shopping season. Spokeswoman Molly Snyder said the cuts are unrelated to the breach. "We believe these decisions, while difficult, are the right actions as we continue to focus on transforming our business," she said. "We will continue to invest in key business areas to strengthen our ability to compete and thrive well into the future." The discount retailer has about 361,000 employees worldwide and more than 1,700 U.S. stores. 

Target, the second-largest U.S. discount retailer, increased its estimate of people affected by the recent data security breach to as many as 110 million and said additional information was stolen. Names, home and email addresses for as many as 70 million people were taken, the Minneapolis-based company said in a statement. That information is in addition to the credit card and debit card data of 40 million accounts that Target previously said was taken. Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said while it's likely the two groups of victims overlap, Target doesn't yet know the extent, and it's possible they are distinct.

Target plans to stop asking prospective employees about their criminal records in initial job applications at all of its U.S. stores, a company spokesperson confirmed to The Huffington Post this week. The Minneapolis-based company had been facing pressure to do so from grassroots advocacy group TakeAction Minnesota. Target nevertheless reserved the right to ask about criminal backgrounds after the completion of an applicant's first interview.

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