Civil News

Ymail users to receive up to Ksh 10,000 compensation in Yahoo Security Breach Litigation Settlement case

Pursuant to a Ksh 12 billion class Action Settlement that has been proposed in class action lawsuit against Yahoo and Aabaco Small Business, LLC, ymail users who are residents of the US or Israel and had a Yahoo account at any time between January 1,2012 and December 31,2016 or any other ymail user who had received a Notice about the data breaches have been listed as “Settlement Class Members”.

Details of the Yahoo Security Breach Litigation Settlement state that Yahoo! through its successor in interest, Oath Holdings Inc. (“Oath”), have been compelled to continue enhancing the security of its customers’ personal information that have been stored on its Databases. Also, Yahoo! is set to pay a Settlement Fund of $117,500,000 which will further provide a minimum of two years of Credit Monitoring Services that aims to protect Settlement Class members from future harm or an alternative compensation of betwenn $100 to $358 instead of credit Monitoring for class members who already have or do not need the Credit Monitoring Services. Moreover, the Settlement Fund is set cater for out-of-Pocket costs for losses related to the data breaches on top of reimbursing of some cost for those who paid for Yahoo premium or small business services.

The Yahoo Security Breach Litigation Settlement is in relation to a class action lawsuit filed by plaintiffs who stated that Yahoo users had been subjected to numerous disclosures of personal information, despite assurances from the company of privacy protection.

The plaintiffs further alleged that the company had released a series of news releases disclosing that user accounts had been compromised in 2014,2015 and 2016. The complaints allege that personal, employment, financial, and even legal information were disclosed in the data breach.

The complaint further claimed that the massive breaches were due to Yahoo’s disregard of users’ privacy interests and threats. The Yahoo data breach class action lawsuit insisted that the plaintiffs and Yahoo users would not have signed up for the service had they known their private information would be compromised. 

Intricacies of the data breach are that in 2012 Yahoo experienced a series of Data Security intrusions whereby at least two different malicious actors accessed Yahoo’s internal systems albeit no evidence reveals that that user credentials, email accounts, or the contents of emails were taken out of Yahoo’s systems.

A further dug out in the case revealed that in August 2013, malicious actors were able to gain access to Yahoo’s user database thereby taking records for all existing Yahoo accounts (approximately three billion accounts worldwide). The records the actors took include the names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, passwords and security questions as well as answers of Yahoo account holders. Consequently, the actors might have also gained access to the contents of breached Yahoo accounts and, thus, any private information contained within the users’ emails, calendars and contacts.

In November 2014, a similar but subsequent data breach was experienced and malicious actors were also able to gain access to Yahoo’s database. The actors reportedly took records of approximately 500 million user accounts worldwide. The data breach was similar to that of 2013 albeit this time records were taken from a lesser number of accounts.

From 2015 to September 2016, a data breach was experienced whereby malicious actors were able to use cookies instead of a password to gain access into approximately 32 million Yahoo email accounts.

In 2019 a federal judge ordered Yahoo to increase their initial $50 million settlement agreement.

American Class Members will need to provide documentation proving they already have credit monitoring services; however, those in Israel will not need to provide proof.

Those who suffered fraud or identity theft can claim reimbursement under the for up to $25,000 for out-of-pocket expenses.

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