JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez wants the federal government to hold companies accountable when their customers’ financial information is stolen.

Speaking at a Target store Thursday in Jersey City, Menendez said he wants to make sure retailers are “putting their customers ahead of profits.”

“If in fact you have a company, whether it be Target or any other, that is not making the investment in their security process to ensure that what happened to Target doesn’t happen, then you have to question why a company would not do that,” he said. “You have to question that they’re unwilling to make the investments necessary because they’re driven more by the bottom line than having a system that would secure all their consumers.”

Target announced this month that personal information was taken from nearly 40 million customers who used credit and debit cards at the store in one of the largest data breaches of its kind.

Menendez said he is also investigating whether the Federal Trade Commission can fine firms for breaches. If it doesn’t, he promises to introduce legislation to give the FTC that authority.

He said he has also sent a letter to the FTC asking for recommendations on further legislation to protect consumers.

Menendez said he may hold hearings on the Target breach. A message left with Target was not immediately returned.

Menendez is a member of the Senate banking committee.

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