Judge clears way for breach victims to sue Yahoo

Judge clears way for breach victims to sue Yahoo
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A federal judge ruled that individuals affected by the Yahoo data breaches can sue the company.

Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday ruled against a motion from Verizon, which bought some of Yahoo's businesses, seeking to dismiss breach claims from users.

Reuters first reported the ruling.

Among the suits were claims alleging negligence and breach of contract.


The Yahoo breaches occurred in 2013 and 2014 but were not revealed until 2016. Users argued the breach cost them money by requiring the purchase of identity-theft prevention services and that Yahoo should have disclosed the breach sooner.

“Plaintiffs’ allegations are sufficient to show that they would have behaved differently had defendants disclosed the security weaknesses of the Yahoo Mail System,” Koh, who was nominated by President Obama to the bench, wrote in her decision.

Yahoo believes that all 3 billion of its user accounts were affected by the 2013 breach.

The record-breaking breaches came to light in 2016 during Verizon’s pending purchase of Yahoo. The news prompted Yahoo to renegotiate the purchase price down to $4.5 billion.

Lawmakers have scrutinized Yahoo's handling of the breach. Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer testified before Congress under subpoena in November.