In 2016, Yahoo! was held accountable for digital theft that happened through 2013 and 2014 but wasn’t disclosed to account holders until 2016. Progress in the now two-year-old lawsuit was made on October 23 when Yahoo! agreed to pay out $50 million US to hack victims. They also agreed to pay two years’ worth of free credit monitoring services to the 200 million account holders who had their personal information stolen.
Yahoo! initially disclosed the problem after negotiating a deal with Verizon Communications worth over $4.5 billion US. Due to the breach, tarnished brand, and an embarrassing end to Yahoo!’s reign, the deal was discounted by $350 million.
Any Yahoo! Account holder who experienced losses due to the security breach is capable of receiving portions of the $50 million fund. Costs include identity theft, delayed banking or tax refunds, or any issues that are a direct result of the stolen information from the Yahoo! hack. The $50 million is structured to compensate account holders at a base of $25 per hour for time spent dealing with the breach. Account holders with documented losses can claim up to $375 (15 hours), and those who can’t document their personal losses can claim upwards of $125 (five hours.)
The most valuable part of the settlement is the free credit monitoring provided by AllClear. While the preliminary agreement doesn’t disclose how much Yahoo! has agreed to pay AllClear, lawyers representing account holders estimate the value at $359 for two years. The lawyer’s representing the account holders also state that the settlement is a positive outcome, as a winning result was uncertain if the case went to trial.
The hearing to approve the preliminary settlement agreement is scheduled for late March, in San Jose, California. If the deal is approved, all affected users are going to receive email notifications, and notices are to get published in both People and National Geographic magazines. If you were a Yahoo account holder that suffered a loss from the security breach, keep your eye out. Your restitution might come sooner than you think.