Judge Says Yahoo Must Face Lawsuit After Data Breach Exposed Hundreds Of Millions

Eric Lieberman | Deputy Editor

A U.S. judge Wednesday declined to dismiss a lawsuit against Yahoo, arguing millions of users, many of whom are victims of massive cyber breaches, have a right to pursue litigation.

Verizon, which purchased Yahoo for a heavily discounted price of $4.76 billion, is trying to curb potential liability, according to Reuters. Yahoo has since became a part of a Verizon branch known as Oath, essentially losing its iconic name in the process.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh of San Jose, California argued in a 93-page decision that Yahoo was wrong to assert that users who had their personal information exposed did not have a case.

“All plaintiffs have alleged a risk of future identity theft, in addition to loss of value of their personal identification information,” Koh wrote, according to Reuters, who also added that some victims alleged they had to spend extra money to safeguard their identifiable details for the future.

Yahoo announced in December that one billion user accounts were hacked two years ago, an incident separate from another cyber intrusion where roughly 500 million accounts were breached. It’s believed that both of the cases are the two largest single cyber thefts ever.

Koh also argued that users could have limited the damages from the massive breaches if Yahoo disclosed the breaches sooner, rather than sitting on inklings for some time. (RELATED: Federal Agency To Investigate Yahoo For Taking So Long To Publicize Massive Hack)

“We believe it to be a significant victory for consumers, and will address the deficiencies the court pointed out,” John Yanchunis, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said in an interview, Reuters reports. “It’s the biggest data breach in the history of the world.”

Verizon told The Daily Caller News Foundation that it declines to comment on pending litigation.

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