T-Mobile has reached a settlement in America with victims of a major data breach in 2021. The company is allocating $350 million for damages claims and another $150 million for securing its networks.
The settlement revolves around a major data breach in 2021. In August of that year, T-Mobile announced that the data of 48.7 million customers had been stolen by hackers. Not only name and address details were stolen from many customers, but also dates of birth and their social security numbers or driver’s license or ID card information. In the days and weeks that followed, there were more victims. Ultimately, 76.6 million American citizens would have become victims of the data breach. These were not only customers, but also people who had obtained information about subscriptions, for example.
T-Mobile has now settled with lawyers about, among other things, compensation. The company has submitted a proposal to the SEC, the market and stock regulator in the US. The company says it is putting $350 million in a fund to compensate victims. This concerns victims who report themselves for individual or collective claims for damages. There is no agreed minimum or standard amount that victims can claim. That partly depends on how many customers will do that. Lawyers’ fees and other expenses are also paid from that fund.
In addition to the $350 million in damages, T-Mobile is also putting $150 million in the fund to improve its network security. That amount comes on top of the amount that T-Mobile already processes annually in its accounts.
T-Mobile says the settlement does not mean it is to blame for the data breach. “The settlement does not constitute an affirmation of liability, misconduct or responsibility,” the company wrote. Experts question this: there are indications that the data breach could have occurred because the company’s security was not in order. Also, many victims were not informed or were informed much too late.