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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 25, 2012 • Issue 12:06:02

First Data, SecurityMetrics settle lawsuit over data access

Payment processor First Data Corp. and SecurityMetrics Inc., a provider of Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) compliance, resolved a lawsuit that alleged SecurityMetrics unlawfully restricted First Data's access to its customer security and reporting data. The processor accused SecurityMetrics of withholding the data in an attempt to force First Data to halt the introduction of its own PCI DSS-compliance solution. The suit was filed May 21, 2012, in the U.S. District Court in Utah.

SecurityMetrics was asked by The Green Sheet for comment on May 30, 2012, and replied by email the next day, stating, "SecurityMetrics and First Data have reached a mutual agreement to resolve the First Data Federal District Court filing on May 21, 2012." When reached for comment May 30, 2012, Elizabeth Grice, First Data Director of Communications, said the company does not comment on pending litigation. Grice was not able to confirm or comment on the agreement by press time the next day.

Reaction to a new PCI solution

In its filing, First Data told the court nothing in its contract with SecurityMetrics prevents it from introducing its own PCI compliance solution. However, First Data claimed when it began implementing its own compliance solution, SecurityMetrics informed First Data it was in violation of their contract.

SecurityMetrics then allegedly refused First Data full access to its project management and tracking portal, SecurityMetrics Merchant Compliance Console, and refused to give it access to its customers' regular and weekly reports, the processor stated. First Data also accused SecurityMetrics of certain retaliatory actions and alleged that SecurityMetrics had damaged its relationships with its customers.

Request for relief and audit

First Data's complaint asked the court for a temporary restraining order and to require SecurityMetrics to submit to an audit, stop contacting First Data customers and provide all relevant console services, PCI compliance reports, communications "made to merchants in breach of the parties' contract," and updated status reports on all First Data customers.

First Data also sought compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys' fees. Details of the settlement were not disclosed. end of article

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