Data Breaches are the new norm, we have just either forgotten the past cases, or didn’t care. Class Action lawsuits are a joke, the lawyers typically get millions while the clients get minimal cash and sometimes simply a coupon to buy more goods from the defendant. The Facebook class action is already pooling with lawyers and an “Executive Legal Committee” which will be paid to monitor the merits, fees, billings etc… That’s right, a committee has already been appointed to get part payment of the fees that are likely to implode!
So how many Data Breach class actions are there? Well there was/is Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, Adobe, Snapchat, Kaiser, Boston Medical, Ashley Madison, Equifax, Aetna, Anthem… etc. You get the point. Hackers are everywhere and our information is constantly hacked.
So you are upset because Facebook used or sold or gave all the information you posted on your ‘About’ page and it was used to – gasp – determine your political bents. Really? Did you know your Voter ID Card is visible to anyone on Google? Or howabout the fact that the State and County where you reside posts all your property information and public record data – for anyone to view? Or howabout Spokeo? Or the dozens of organizations that, for a fee, will give you information on just about anyone you want to stalk?
Howabout the numerous companies that provide data details for corporations to use for marketing purposes or for sales purposes that were never ‘authorized’? We used to buy lists at my firm! Costs varied by the number of targets – 5000, 10,000, 100,000… How do you think you get on phone scam lists? Or junk mail lists?
Did Facebook release your medical records? Your Social Security Number? Your bank account information? Your credit card data?
Forbes posted an article about the true nature of a class action lawsuit:
- In re Heartland Payment Systems Data Security Breach: Out of a purported class of 130 million customers injured by a data breach, 11 claims were paid for a total of $110,000. Lawyers’ take: $641,000.
- DirectBuy litigation: Class members receive discounts on membership renewals from business that supposedly ripped them off; lawyers get as much as $1 million in fees.
Out of 148 cases that the RAND Corporation researched, the data for four gave the actual settlement statistics. Lawyers and courts are NOT required to provide this information for the public. Because in so doing, we might learn what a true ‘Joke’ the process really is.
Cyber attacks are big business, but not necessarily in the way we perceive. The Veterans Administration alone has reported thwarting 1 billion cyber attacks. The government has been hacked thousands of times. Information is rampant. In 2014, a single U.S. government agency was hit with a blizzard of more than 1,370 external attacks on its most vital computer systems, with three out of every eight incidents resulting in a loss of data, according to a new report by the watchdog Government Accountability Office.” The name of the Agency was not released. The data was not discussed.
In the ADT Data Breach class action settlement of $16 million each client was awarded ‘up to $45’, while the remainder went to the attorneys. When Anthem was hacked the lawsuit fetched $115 million – and the clients received ‘free credit monitoring for two years’, and, any provable out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the breach…
In the Target class action attorneys fees amounted to 67.5% of the award. The stock initially sank 33.33%. Someone shorted well. Maybe that is a bigger Legal Issue! Attorneys and Fund Managers are the winners.
What the lawsuits do is provide a venue for stock manipulation and shorting as the alleged breach is ‘leaked’ by an unknown person as in the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica case.