Bad news for Yahoo is good news for those affected by its massive data breaches: a US judge has ruled that affected users can sue the company over the risk of identity theft it caused them by failing to adequately protect their personal data. The ruling was recently made by US District Judge Lucy Koh, who said that victims of three major data breaches have standing to sue the company.
At the heart of the matter is the risk of identity theft and fraud; some victims claim to have experienced this issue due to the leaked data, while others say they were forced to spend money to try to prevent it from happening to them.
A major component in the legal debacle is that Yahoo delayed in disclosing the data loss, and that was time victims argue they could have used to secure their accounts and take preventative measures against potential identity theft.
The data breaches took place between 2013 and 2016, and they affected more than one billion Yahoo users. The scope of the disclosures was so massive that Verizon was able to buy the company at a lower price than it had originally agreed to. Fallout from the breaches continue months after the disclosures were made.
For its part, Yahoo had argued against legal action from affected users, saying they did not have any standing to sue over the matter. Judge Koh disagreed, however, and now Yahoo must face the potential legal consequences of what has ended up being the largest data breach of its kind. When the legal case will proceed is unclear.