The Augusta Chronicle’s business-page reprint Wednesday, of an excerpt from a wire-service story, might give readers the mistaken impression that payment card information from local Goodwill shoppers and donors is at risk of exposure. We at Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA appreciate the opportunity to reassure customers that their data is secure.
Goodwill Industries International was informed July 18 by a payment card industry fraud investigative unit and by federal authorities that some Goodwill store locations in North America might have been the victims of possible theft of credit card numbers. Investigators immediately began reviewing all available information, and to date only a potential vulnerability to such a breach has been confirmed – not an actual breach.
Furthermore, the processing systems described in the notice are not used by Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA, and no such vulnerability has been detected within our operation. Unlike Target and Neiman-Marcus stores, where data breaches left customers vulnerable nationwide, the 165 autonomous Goodwill organizations in North America operate independently and do not share customer data across a national network. That was spelled out in the online version of the Chronicle story, which unfortunately did not make it into print.
Goodwill’s primary concern is our community; the people we serve; and our shoppers and donors. We are consistently evaluating, monitoring and protecting our data systems, and if a compromise were to be identified, we will take all appropriate action to inform our community, our stakeholders and the appropriate authorities.
It’s important to remember that revenues from sales of generously donated goods in Goodwill retail training stores support our mission of assisting the unemployed and underemployed in our community. In the past 12 months, with the support of your contributions, more than 4,000 individuals were given a “hand up” to secure a job through our nine Job ConnectionSM career centers. We need your gently used donations to help thousands of customers who are coming to our four CSRA upscale resale stores looking for back-to-school fashions. We value our customers and donors and appreciate their loyalty as they continue to help Goodwill build lives, families and communities, one career at a time.
James K. Stiff
(The writer is president of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA.)