Yahoo has agreed to pay $50 million in damages and two years of free credit-monitoring services to 200 million people. That’s the customers whose email addresses and other personal information were stolen as part of the biggest security breach in history. This Yahoo settlement is for accounts hacked back in 2013 and 2014, though the security breach was only disclosed in 2016.
Yahoo revealed the problem after it had already negotiated a $4.83 billion deal to sell its digital services to Verizon Communications. A $350 million discount was given after that to reflect its tarnished brand.
About 3 billion Yahoo accounts were hit by hackers. The settlement reached in a San Francisco court covers about 1 billion of those accounts held by an estimated 200 million people in the U.S. and Israel from 2012 through 2016.
A hearing to approve the preliminary settlement is scheduled for Nov. 29 before U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California. If approved, notices will be emailed to affected accountholders and published in People and National Geographic magazines.
How Much Do I Get?
Claims for a portion of the $50 million fund can be submitted by any eligible Yahoo accountholder who suffered losses resulting from the security breach. The costs can include such things as identity theft, delayed tax refunds or other problems linked to having had personal information pilfered during the Yahoo break-ins.
The fund will compensate Yahoo accountholders at a rate of $25 per hour for time spent dealing with issues triggered by the security breach, according to the preliminary settlement. Those with documented losses can ask for up to 15 hours of lost time, or $375. Those who can’t document losses can file claims seeking up to five hours, or $125, for their time spent dealing with the breach.
Yahoo account holders who paid $20 to $50 annually for a premium email account will be eligible for a 25 percent refund.
Customers will also receive free credit monitoring service from AllClear for two years, which adds up to over $300 in value.
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And how does a Yahoo user find out if they are eligible?
They will be notified after the settlement is approved.