On October 23, 2018, the parties in the Yahoo! Inc. (“Yahoo!”) Customer Data Security Breach Litigation pending in the Northern District of California and the parties in the related litigation pending in California state court filed a motion seeking preliminary approval of a settlement related to breaches of the company’s data. These breaches were announced from September 2016 to October 2017 and collectively impacted approximately 3 billion user accounts worldwide. In June 2017, Yahoo! and Verizon Communications Inc. had completed an asset sale transaction, pursuant to which Yahoo! became Altaba Inc. (“Altaba”) and Yahoo!’s previously operating business became Oath Holdings Inc. (“Oath”). Altaba and Oath have each agreed to be responsible for 50 percent of the settlement.
Vizio, Inc. (“Vizio”), a California-based company best known for its internet-connected televisions, agreed to a $17 million settlement that, if approved, will resolve multiple proposed consumer class actions consolidated in California federal court. The suits’ claims, which are limited to the period between February 1, 2014 and February 6, 2017, involve data-tracking software Vizio installed on its smart TVs. The software allegedly identified content displayed on Vizio TVs and enabled Vizio to determine the date, time, channel of programs and whether a viewer watched live or recorded content. The viewing patterns were connected to viewer’s IP addresses, though never, Vizio emphasized in its press release announcing the proposed settlement, to an individual’s name, address, or similar identifying information. According to Vizio, viewing data allows advertisers and programmers to develop content better aligned with consumers’ preferences and interests. Continue Reading Vizio Agrees to $17M Settlement to Resolve Smart TV Class Action Suit
On September 26, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (“the Court”) refused to dismiss all putative class claims against Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (“Chipotle”). This litigation arose from a 2017 data breach in which hackers stole customers’ payment card and other personal information by using malicious software to access the point-of-sale systems at Chipotle’s locations. Continue Reading Chipotle Consumer Plaintiffs’ Putative Class Case Survives in Part
On September 5, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California held that a class action arising from a 2016 Uber Technologies Inc. (“Uber”) data breach must proceed to arbitration. The case was initially filed after a 2016 data breach that affected approximately 600,000 Uber drivers and 57 million Uber customers. Continue Reading Uber Data Breach Class Action Must Proceed to Arbitration
On August 15, 2018, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh signed an order granting final approval of the record $115 million class action settlement agreed to by Anthem Inc. in June 2017. As previously reported, Judge Koh signed an order granting preliminary approval of the settlement in August 2017. Continue Reading Judge Grants Final Approval of Record Data Breach Settlement in Anthem Class Action
On July 11, 2018, computer manufacturer Lenovo Group Ltd. (“Lenovo”) agreed to a proposed $8.3 million settlement in the hopes of resolving consumer class claims regarding pop-up ad software Lenovo pre-installed on its laptops. Lenovo issued a press release stating that, “while Lenovo disagrees with allegations contained in these complaints, we are pleased to bring this matter to a close after 2-1/2 years.” Continue Reading Lenovo Reaches Proposed $8.3 Million Settlement Agreement
On March 8, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (“Ninth Circuit”) reversed a decision from the United States District Court for the District of Nevada. The trial court found that one subclass of plaintiffs in In re Zappos.Com, Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, had not sufficiently alleged injury in fact to establish Article III standing. The opinion focused on consumers who did not allege that any fraudulent charges had been made using their identities, despite hackers accessing their names, account numbers, passwords, email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, telephone numbers, and credit and debit card information in a 2012 data breach. Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Reverses District Court Decision in Zappos Consumer Data Breach Case
On January 23, 2018, the New York Attorney General announced that Aetna Inc. (“Aetna”) agreed to pay $1.15 million and enhance its privacy practices following an investigation alleging it risked revealing the HIV status of 2,460 New York residents by mailing them information in transparent window envelopes. In July 2017, Aetna sent HIV patients information on how to fill their prescriptions using envelopes with large clear plastic windows, through which patient names, addresses, claims numbers and medication instructions were visible. Through this, the HIV status of some patients was visible to third parties. The letters were sent to notify members of a class action lawsuit that, pursuant to that suit’s resolution, they could purchase HIV medications at physical pharmacy locations, rather than via mail order delivery. Continue Reading Aetna Agrees to $1.15 Million Settlement with New York Attorney General
In our final two segments of the series, industry leaders Lisa Sotto, partner and chair of Hunton & Williams’ Privacy and Cybersecurity practice; Steve Haas, M&A partner at Hunton & Williams; Allen Goolsby, special counsel at Hunton & Williams; and Eric Friedberg, co-president of Stroz Friedberg, along with moderator Lee Pacchia of Mimesis Law, continue their discussion on privacy and cybersecurity in M&A transactions and what companies can do to minimize risks before, during and after a deal closes. They discuss due diligence, deal documents and best practices in privacy and data security. The discussion wraps up with lessons learned in the rapidly changing area of data protection in M&A transactions, and predictions for what lies ahead.
On August 25, 2017, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh signed an order granting preliminary approval of the record class action settlement agreed to by Anthem Inc. this past June. The settlement arose out of a 2015 data breach that exposed the personal information of more than 78 million individuals, including names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and health care ID numbers. The terms of the settlement include, among other things, the creation of a pool of funds to provide credit monitoring and reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs for customers, as well as up to $38 million in attorneys’ fees. Anthem will also be required to make certain changes to its data security systems and cybersecurity practices for at least three years. Continue Reading Record Breach Settlement in Anthem Class Action Receives Judge Approval