ASIDE FROM THE initial embarrassment and bad PR that comes from a giant data breach, there’s usually a massive financial cost attached. And it’s no surprise that within hours of revealing that it had lost the data of 500 million users, the Marriott hotel chain was facing not one, but two class action lawsuits.
While affected people from the state of Maryland have left the amount of compensation required to the imagination, two Organ plaintiffs have put a figure of $12.5 billion on costs and losses. That equates to $25 for each and every person affected by the breach. “That’s a place to start,” Portland lawyer Michael Fuller told Oregon Live. “We don’t expect anyone to have losses less than $25.”
That $25, Fuller says, will go towards compensating those affected for time lost cancelling credit cards and so forth.
That expectation may prove a little on the high side, going by historical precedent. Last month Uber agreed a payment of $148 million for a data breach that affected 57 million customers, while Yahoo only agreed $50 million for the 200 million people impacted by its 2013 data snafu.
Still, it never hurts to go in high. Given more lawsuits are expected in the next few days, one bright spot for the embattled hotel chain is that it likely won’t have lots of bills to face: typically, multiple class-action cases get merged into a single case to save time and money.
We like this Oregon one for really setting the scene beautifully, though. “In days past, hotel customers had to worry about things like unwashed towels and bed bugs,” the lawsuit starts, grabbing the reader from the get-go. “In today’s digital age, the primary worry of hotel customers is the security of their card numbers and other sensitive personal information.” We’re still more worried about bed bugs, mind. µ
Source : Inquirer