In financial data breaches, timing is almost everything. On June 13 a federal court held Comerica Bank liable for data breach losses even though it notified the customer and stopped all account activity within six hours. Two days later Citigroup Inc. was explaining why it took nearly a month to start notifying 360,000 customers of a breach. While Comerica didn’t act fast enough for the court, experts say Citi’s delay may have been justified.

Confusing? Such disparities can baffle not only companies and consumers, but also lawmakers trying to create a uniform standard for handling breaches.

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