Yahoo faces class action lawsuits over data breach affecting 500 million users

by Charles Miller

Yahoo is facing several class action lawsuits in California and Illinois over a massive data breach involving the accounts of at least 500 million users. The lawsuits were filed by Yahoo users in New York, Arkansas, and North Carolina on behalf of other users who were affected by the data breach.

Yahoo admitted in September 2016 that the names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, passwords, and other data for the accounts of hundreds of millions of users had been stolen in 2014 by a “state-sponsored actor”. The company advised users to change their account passwords and security questions in the wake of the data breach.

According to a pair of class action lawsuits filed against Yahoo in California, the company “[failed] to establish and implement basic data security”. The lawsuits allege that Yahoo knew about the hacked data long before disclosing the security breach to the public, but withheld the information until the company’s $4.8 billion sale to Verizon was completed. Two other class action lawsuits accusing Yahoo of negligence in the data breach were also filed in Illinois.

Yahoo said that the bank account numbers and credit card data of users affected by the breach do not appear to have been stolen by hackers. However, the class action suits filed against the company say that users who had their data stolen may now be vulnerable to identity theft that could eventually lead to financial losses. According to one of the lawsuits filed in California, the biographical data obtained by hackers could be used for “synthetic identity theft,” in which “thieves create new identities by combining real and fake identifying information and then use those identities to open new accounts.”

Rumors that the account data of Yahoo users had been stolen emerged in August. A hacker calling himself “Peace” began spreading claims that he was selling the account information of approximately 200 million Yahoo users online. Although Yahoo announced at the time that it was investigating the possible data breach, the company’s recent announcement showed that the account hacking was much worse than had previously been supposed.

Senators Raise Questions About Yahoo Data Breach

Six U.S. Senators, including Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, called for an investigation into the Yahoo data breach, stating that the company should have done more to protect users’ sensitive account information. “If Yahoo knew about the hack as early as August, and failed to coordinate with law enforcement, taking this long to confirm the breach is a blatant betrayal of their users’ trust,” Blumenthal said in a statement.

The senators also raised concerns about the two-year delay between the data hack and Yahoo’s announcement that user data had been stolen. Blumenthal said that authorities should investigate whether Yahoo concealed information about the 500 million hacked user accounts in order to “bolster its valuation in its pending acquisition by Verizon”.

Victims of Corporate Wrongdoing May Qualify to File a Class Action Lawsuit

Victims of negligence or other wrongful actions on the part of corporations may wish to file a class action lawsuit against companies on behalf of other users who have been similarly wronged. Individuals who were harmed in a similar manner to plaintiffs who have filed a class action lawsuit may be eligible to join the case and receive compensation for economic damages or other wrongdoing by corporate defendants. The first step in taking legal action to determine if you are eligible to file a class action lawsuit or join an existing case is to speak with an experienced class action attorney, who can advise you regarding your legal rights.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed class action lawsuits in Texas, California, and other jurisdictions across the U.S. on behalf of plaintiffs who were harmed by the wrongful actions of businesses or corporations. The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson are trial attorneys in the truest sense of the term, having tried hundreds of cases to verdict and settled hundreds more on behalf of our clients.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson has the legal experience to guide our clients through commercial class action lawsuits, multidistrict litigation cases, and other complex litigation from beginning to end. Our law firm also has the financial resources to take on some of the biggest corporations in the world on behalf of our clients. In many instances, our firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a case in order to take it to trial. Our attorneys are committed to achieving justice for our clients, whatever the cost.

For more information about filing a class action lawsuit, and to learn more about whether you may qualify to file a case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions to get started.