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Boston Bar Chain Settles Data Breach Allegations

BOSTON — A company that runs several popular Boston bars and restaurants has agreed to pay a $110,000 penalty to settle a lawsuit by the state attorney general alleging it failed to protect customer credit and debit card information.

The lawsuit alleged The Briar Group LLC’s computer system was compromised in April 2009, allowing hackers access to card information and that the problem took eight months to fix. Authorities say the chain continued to accept customer cards after it knew of the data breach.

The Briar Group — which owns and operates the Harp, Ned Devine’s, the Lenox and the Green Briar, among others — also agreed to improve computer security.

“When consumers use their credit and debit cards at Massachusetts establishments, they have an expectation that their personal information will be properly protected,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement.

The company said in a statement that it disagrees with some of the attorney general’s allegations, but agrees customers should be able to use their cards with confidence.

With reporting from The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom.

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