T-Mobile has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit about a massive data breach, to the tune of $350 million.
In August 2021, T-Mobile disclosed that approximately 50 million people, mostly not their customers, had been affected by a data breach. Most of the records exposed, which included social security numbers, names, home addresses, and drivers licenses, were the records of people who had applied for T-Mobile credit, along with just under 8 million monthly customers. According to the company, no phone numbers, account numbers, or financial information was compromised, but the leaked data is still enough to do massive harm in the wrong hands.
Over the subsequent months, that 50 million was increased to 76 million affected. T-Mobile said at the time that they would pay for two years of free identity protection service to anyone affected, and to anyone affected in the company’s numerous previous, smaller, data breaches.
A class action lawsuit was filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission on behalf of the affected customers. The lawsuit alleged that the repeated breaches were proof that the company was not taking its duty of data security seriously.
On Friday, the mobile phone company filed to settle without admission of wrongdoing. They will pay out $350 million to compensate the affected victims for any complications rising from their data being leaked, and have committed an additional $150 million to fortifying their data security technologies and practices.
The court will have to approve the settlement, which is expected to happen in December or January. Victims can file for their compensation, based on their damages and capped at $2500 per person. Most will receive far less. If distributed evenly, $350 million split between 76 million people is $4.61 per person.
T-Mobile, which is based in Bellevue, Washington, reported $80 billion in revenue, a full 17% higher than in 2020 and 70% higher than in 2019. They have already told investors that they will spend $400 million on this matter in this quarter, 0.5% of last year’s revenue.