back to article Anthem to shell out $115m in largest-ever data theft settlement

Health insurer Anthem has today agreed to pay $115m to settle a class-action suit brought on by its 2015 cyber-theft of 78.8 million records. The settlement fund will be used to cover damage costs incurred by people who had personal information including their names, dates of birth, addresses, and medical ID numbers stolen …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Anthem will not have to admit to any wrongdoing"

    Hundred million sting! Not bad and couldn't happen to a nicer bunch! Hope GDPR leads to mucho billion dollar fines for corporate complacency....

    1. wayne 8

      Re: "Anthem will not have to admit to any wrongdoing"

      GDPR is not involved. Anthem is US based.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        "GDPR is not involved. Anthem is US based."

        And won't start their infection of the NHS until after the UK leaves the EU.

  2. GrapeBunch

    It's not just about the money ...

    About $1 per person, after deductions. I'd say the emotional trauma is worth a lot more than that, per person, even if no identity theft was in fact perpetrated. A modest settlement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not just about the money ...

      Less than modest, more like trivial. Anthem's turnover if $85bn a year.

      As primarily a healthcare insurer with other lines of business, I would guess that the average revenue per customer is around what, $8,000 per customer per year? So paying $1 per customer record isn't going to even register with them.

      The US regulators have it all the wrong way round. Rather than bilking a few million dollars for a "not our fault" settlement, they should forgo the money, and insist that companies admit liability. Then let the civil courts and customers determine the penalty.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "a full third of the package [..] has been earmarked to cover attorney fees"

    Another Brockovich arrangement, then ?

    How is it legal that lawyers who have been subject to absolutely no prejudice get more money than all the people who have ?

    In absolutely every other professional domain, if you arrange a contract between two entities, you get at most 15% of what the guy who actually does the job gets. Only in the courtroom can you arrange to get such a return and set yourself before everyone else.

    Yeah, I know they worked. It's still disgusting.

    1. GrapeBunch

      Re: "a full third of the package [..] has been earmarked to cover attorney fees"

      Anthelmintic resistance. The lawyers have been in the gut of Justice, doing what they do, for so long that, even though we know what they're doing, they just do what they want, ethical outrage has no effect.

      Anthem, Anthelmintic, pure happenstance. Just a memory aid.

      In the generalized case, class action lawyers who agree to a modest settlement with substantial full-rate fees to themselves from said settlement, could turn around and also receive under-the-table kickbacks from the wrongdoer (oops, they never admit they goofed). The settlement is a "negotiation" where only one side of the dispute is at the table. I wonder if the Panama Papers have been scanned with an eye to this sort of possibility, though maybe even Secret Banking is considered too open for such a transaction. Even if such happened only once: comped privileges at a country club or wholesale pricing of a company's product; it is a monstrous breach of trust.

      Kickbacks or none, courts, which are good at picking holes in and nullifying poorly thought-out legislation, are overdue for retooling the class action aspect of their own existence. IANALBIPOOTI.

    2. Amos1

      Re: "a full third of the package [..] has been earmarked to cover attorney fees"

      What country do you live in? It's certainly not the US.

  4. Compression Artifact

    The morning after the breach I spent about $20 on postage (certified mail, return receipt) ordering the credit reporting agencies to freeze my credit reports. Anthem refused to reimburse me. Maybe I can file another claim now and get a buck or two.

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      How do class actions work in the US, are you bound by this or can you sue independently? I know the US courts are usually unwilling to award costs, but in this case they've already accepted liability, so shouldn't have a leg to stand on.

      1. EnviableOne Silver badge

        ah but thats the rub, they didnt admit fault

        its a no fault settlement, so if your not party to the Class action, you have to go through the whole process again...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big US Corporation wins...

    .. whilst victims get fucked.

    It's the way of politics and big business.

    At that sort of penalty cost it would be cheaper for them to remove all the IT security and leave the doors wide open and pay the tiny fines when they arrive.

    These Corporations are in bed with your government and openly laughing in your face.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Big US Corporation wins whilst victims get fucked."

    Well, as a wise man who moved to America once said, "You know what capitalism is? Gettin' fucked!"

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Attorneys win

    Attorneys are the only winners in this. To bad they all get fat and die of cancer by 60 lol

  8. Baldy1138

    Whew -- when I saw the headline I thought Rush was in trouble.

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