There’s news to rejoice for the Yahoo users as Yahoo has agreed to pay $50 Million for the damage done to its 200 million users due to pilfering of their personal data which caused the largest data breach case in history. Moreover, it will also provide two years of free credit-monitoring services to all those 200 million affected users.
The restitution is based on federal court approval of a settlement filed late Monday, going back to a 2-year-old lawsuit holding Yahoo accountable for digital burglaries that happened in 2013 and 2014 but was disclosed only in 2016. Things were already going downhill for Yahoo after the financial fallout from a security lapse ceased its existence as an independent body. It also brought a sad end to the six-year run of former CEO Marissa Mayer, and the digital burglaries further worsened the situation.
Zeroing in on the details of the settlement, the claims for a portion of the $50 million fund can be submitted by the Yahoo account-holders who suffered data losses such as identity theft, delayed tax refunds and other such problems caused due to the security breach. As per the clauses in the preliminary settlement, the accountholders of Yahoo will be compensated $25 per hour for time spent in facing the issues sparked by the security breach. In this regard, the users with documented losses can claim up to 15 hours of lost time or $375, while the others can file claims for up to five hours or $125 to compensate for time loss incurred in dealing with the Yahoo break-in.
Furthermore, on an impressive note, account holders paying an annual premium of $20 to $50 can claim a 25 percent refund.
Arguably, the heart of the restitution lies in the free credit-monitoring service from AllClear as its retail value was put up tentatively at $14.95 per month by the lawyers. Still, the settlement didn’t outlay the exact amount that Yahoo has conceded to pay AllClear to make up for the losses of the affected account holders, and so the rate remains open to conjecture. However, as the settlement includes the credit-monitoring service, and the lawyers for Yahoo’s account holders have appreciated the settlement as a positive step, the restitution majorly hinges on the credit-monitoring service.
Damage estimation varies case-to-case from one account holder to another, with the experts estimating the value of the personal information contained in email accounts as ranging from $1 to $8 per account, amounting to a probable whopping bill of more than $1 billion for Yahoo if it had lost the case. But thankfully the situation took a favorable turn as Yahoo challenged the damage estimates by asserting that few of the users had submitted false information about their names, birthdates and some personal life details.
Satisfyingly enough for the lawyers representing Yahoo account holders, Yahoo will pay $37.5 million in fees and expenses to them if the settlement is approved so there are adequate monetary incentives at play here to get the ball rolling in favor of Yahoo’s case. The preliminary settlement is scheduled for 29th of Nov before U.S District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California. If the settlement gets through, then an official mail will be sent to all the affected users/people. As for us and all the concerned Yahoo users, we are to wait and watch.