October 22, 2019

Are you a victim of a data breach? Don’t expect a big payout 

Zappos garnered criticism for reimbursing victims of its data breach with discount codes, joining other companies like Equifax and Yahoo in an ongoing disagreement about how companies should repay their customers.

A hacker exposed the personal information of about 24m Zappos customers back in 2012. Seven years later, Zappos has finally reached a settlement and it’s, urm, pretty messed up.

As payment for Zappos not properly protecting your data, you actually won’t get a payment. Instead, you’ll get 10% off one order at Zappos — only valid until the end of the year (or within 60 days of receiving this meager voucher, whichever is later). 

Wait, what?! This sounds more like opportunistic holiday marketing than “we’re sorry.”

Zappos isn’t the first to piss people off with a half-baked data breach payout

After exposing sensitive information, including Social Security numbers, for almost half the US population, Equifax announced in July that it would pay each victim a scanty $125, or cover the cost of credit monitoring for up to 10 years.

Then Equifax and the FTC walked this back, admitting they didn’t set enough money aside, and basically said, urm, you can maybe get this money but only if you set up credit monitoring before October 15, 2019 — and even then there’s probably not enough cash to go around.

Yahoo’s $358 payout seems elusive, too 

Yahoo recently announced a $117m settlement for data breaches back in 2013 and 2014 that affected 3B accounts — the largest (in terms of users) in US history.

If you had a Yahoo account between 2012 and 2016, you’re theoretically eligible for up to $358, but your slice depends on how many other people submit claims. It’s easy to see the math doesn’t work out.

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