Yahoo Will Face Litigation Over Data Breach
A judge in northern California has ruled that Yahoo will go to court over three data breaches which allegedly exposed the account information of over one billion users. Judge Lucy Koh ruled the plaintiffs could pursue breach of contract and unfair competition claims.
Yahoo had sought to dismiss the four class action lawsuits, as the company claimed that plaintiffs lacked standing to bring their case, but Judge Koh disagreed and wrote the plaintiffs “have alleged a risk of future identity theft, in addition to loss of value of their personal identification information.” Additionally, Judge Koh felt the plaintiffs have had to spend money to protect themselves, and plaintiffs were able to detail damages they had suffered as a result of the breach.
One of the claims the plaintiffs made was that unauthorized parties had used their credit card information as a result of the breaches. Yahoo contended the parties could not prove that, but Judge Koh disagreed.
“The existence of other potential data breaches or causes for Plaintiffs’ injuries does not defeat Plaintiffs’ standing to sue [Yahoo!],” Koh wrote.
The three data breaches took places from 2013 to 2016, and Yahoo has been criticized for being slow to inform users of the breaches. In fact, Judge Koh noted in her ruling that if Yahoo had disclosed the breaches promptly, plaintiffs could have taken steps to protect themselves.
The data breaches negatively impacted Verizon’s purchase of Yahoo. Verizon, which had initially offered $4.83 billion for Yahoo’s websites, email service and apps, offered $350 million less after Yahoo disclosed the breaches.