It's the close of 2017 and I just canceled my Nikon Professional Services membership without a second thought. For those who have followed the news, you would know that 2017 was the worst year on record for data breaches in big companies.
Equifax - Cyber criminals obtained "critical personal data" from half of all US citizens
Verizon/Yahoo - All 3 billion personal accounts hacked
Amazon/Whole Foods - Customer cards stolen from 117 locations
Uber - 57 million riders had their card numbers stolen and they kept it a secret
If that doesn't concern you, Google "biggest data breaches in 2017" for a more complete and alarming list including Arby's, Microsoft Xbox, Holiday Inn, FAFSA, Chipotle, Brooks Brothers, DocuSign, Kmart, Washington State University, Blue Cross, Verizon, US Securities & Exchange Commission, Hyatt Hotels, Forever 21, Ebay, and SO MANY MORE. (UPDATE: Mega data breaches that came after I wrote this…Facebook, Twitter, T-Mobile, Google+, Orbitz, FedEx, Under Armorr, FEMA, Panera Bread, Ticket Master, U.S. Airforce, Macy’s, Reddit, 500px, UW Medicine, Dow Jones, and Facebook yet again.)
If there is anything we have learned this past year, it is that even the biggest corporations with the best security measures can no longer guarantee the security of your personal and financial data. So herein lies the big problem I have with Nikon Professional Services...they are now requiring your credit card to be submitted and stored online to continue membership. [Epic face palm.]
Our family has been the victim of identity theft on 6 occasions and 4 of them were credit card related. Three of our stolen cards were obtained from 3 different companies you would know as a household name brand. Because of this, our financial advisers, our cyber security expert, our bank, and even the FBI agree if you have any common sense, "storing credit cards online" is the biggest no-no!!
I wrote the Nikon Professional Services team to express my extreme trepidation concerning this new move. Nikon claims they have to do this now for their rental system, but frankly, this is a stupid, self-interested excuse from the company. The real bottom line is they want an easier path to my money and they don't care about my safety. It was never a problem before now to enter payments online for Nikon services on an as-needed basis. Strangely, not a single other company I rent equipment from requires stored cards. In fact, there isn't a single other business I have a relationship with that requires such a thing!
If Nikon doesn't care about the interests of the professionals who use their service...the service is no longer of value to me. Membership ended.
(UPDATE IN 2019: We are still doing just fine here without NPS.)