Another notice of claim filed against MCCCD following massive breach
Another lawsuit has been filed against Maricopa County Community College District. From the press release by the law firm:
Gallagher & Kennedy has served the Maricopa County Community College District with another notice of class-action claims on behalf of approximately 2.5 million students, parents and others whose private, confidential information was compromised in a massive data breach. The information included names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, demographic information, and as-yet-unspecified “enrollment, academic and financial aid information.” In April 2013, the FBI notified the District that this information was available for sale on the internet. Since then, the District has publicly acknowledged that the data breach “was due to substandard performance of [the District’s] IT workers,” and that the District had previously been notified of security vulnerabilities which went unaddressed. Moreover, the District’s counsel has disclosed that before beginning to notify those affected by the breach, the District took “remedial” action which prevented consultants from determining the extent to which the data had been accessed without authorization.
Unlike other potential claimants, the claimant in this notice, who has been adjunct faculty at MCCCD for a number of years, recently became a victim of ID theft. The complaint has been redacted by the law firm prior to uploading to their site:
Although [redacted] is very sensitive to the potential for identity theft, and takes great care to protect the secrecy of her PII, a thief with access to her PII recently opened a BillMeLater credit account in her name, using, among other things, her full name, address, date of birth and Social Security Number – information clearly obtained by the identity thief from the District’s 2013 Breach. [redacted] was extremely fortunate in that she already had a PayPal account when the thief attempted to steal her identity. Because BiliMeLater is affiliated with PayPal and PayPal had [redacted] email address on file with her existing account. The discrepancy between that email address and the one provided by the thief led BillMeLater to make contact with [redacted] directly, at which point she learned of the fraud. Nonetheless [redacted] experience (and that of many other class members) confirms that the PII available on the internet was in fact misappropriated, has in fact has been misused, and will in fact be misused in the future. And notwithstanding [redacted] efforts to respond to the situation (for example, filing reports with the police and FTC and putting fraud alerts on her credit), there is nothing she can do about the fact that her PII was disclosed to one or more criminals whose identity remains unknown, and that confidential information will remain in the public domain permanently.