Sonic is the latest merchant to suffer a data breach, and another example of the consequences of marketwide inaction on security.

With no concrete information on when and where this took place, Sonic customers can only hope they’re not involved and wait to learn whether their card has been stolen.

Brian Krebs, who has broken this story, is reporting that the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions is responding with understandable dread, knowing that ultimately its member credit unions will likely bear some of the ultimate financial burdens.

Bloomberg News

Will customer loyalty be shaken?

If the past as with the Wendy’s breach is prologue, then the answer is a qualified maybe, and if so, then only slightly. However, this, coupled with the tsunami of recent breaches, might just be the game changers that lead U.S. federal authorities to better protect the data collection, processing and storage of customer data.

At this point, little is known about the breach, but what is known is that login details, passwords, payment information and personally identifiable information magnetically attract hackers.

Like Wendy’s, Target and an alarming number of other major data breaches, the Sonic breach is bound to be a painful reminder that personal data is an irresistible target, no matter how diligent any company’s efforts are in data protection.

Until personally identifiable information is rendered worthless by advanced authentication such as passive biometrics, consumers will continue to suffer the consequences of industry and legislative inaction.