Large corporations currently have to pay out quite a bit in damages in the US. Just last week, we reported that Apple has to pay a total of 50 million US dollars to the customers suing it due to its errors around the susceptible Butterfly keyboard. Compared to a payment that T-Mobile US now “wants” to hand over to its customers as part of a settlement, however, that seems like peanuts. The background is an extensive data leak last year, through which cyber criminals were able to capture gigantic data sets from customers. Despite its willingness to pay, however, T-Mobile US sees no blame on itself.
Money payment to make amends
However, those affected cannot now rejoice that the hefty sum will be divided among them. Rather, T-Mobile US is providing only a portion of the sum of money as reparations for the data theft. In addition to 350 million US dollars, which is to be paid out to aggrieved customers, the company also wants to invest the remaining 150 million US dollars in the broadest sense in connection with the data theft. Thus, T-Mobile US promises extensive spending in the area of cybersecurity. This information emerges from the agreement that the company was able to negotiate with its plaintiff customers this weekend. The amount was already reported in May by the news portal Bloomberg.
Data theft at T-Mobile US in 2021
Customers of Telekom’s U.S. offshoot were hit like a hammer blow by the news of the gigantic data theft in the summer of 2021. For T-Mobile US, it will have been no different when they first heard about the extensive data theft in the executive suite. A total of 76.6 million US citizens are said to have been affected by the massive data leak. The most sensitive data was stolen. Everything from telephone numbers to real names was involved. In retrospect, it turned out that the cyber criminals were able to exploit a security vulnerability. The culprit was apparently a router whose attack protection was simply too weak.
T-Mobile US with too little protection against cyberattacks
Clearly, T-Mobile US was not very careful about protecting itself against such attacks. Accordingly, the affected customers also took action against the telecommunications company as part of a class action lawsuit. Now the legal dispute has apparently come to an end in the form of a settlement. This is attractive for Telekom’s U.S. offshoot insofar as they were not found guilty by any judge of having actually committed security-related errors. The agreement itself even states that by paying damages, T-Mobile US is in no way admitting guilt for having had too little protection against such attacks.
Judge still has to approve
However, the agreement is not yet set in stone. First of all, the judge in charge still has to give his blessing to the agreement reached. However, since the debt waiver clause on the part of T-Mobile US is common practice in agreements of this kind, the judge is likely to approve the agreement without any problems. An example from Europe shows that the reverse can also be true. At the beginning of the year, Deutsche Telekom received millions in compensation from the EU Commission.