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Sony & Anthem Sued for Data Breach

Emanuel Shirazi

Sony Pictures Entertainment and Anthem, the second biggest US Health Insurer, are being sued for failing to protect confidential information from hackers. Following a security computer breach, the personal information of current and former employees and customers was compromised.

The class-action lawsuit against Sony alleges that Sony has known about these weaknesses for years yet did nothing to prevent sensitive employee data including medical records, social security numbers, salary history, resignation reasons, personal emails, and birth dates, from being leaked to the public. In addition, Sony failed to adequately alert affected employees of the security breach.

This is not the first time that Sony has been hacked. In 2011, hackers successfully stole data from 75 million PlayStation customers and 25 million Sony Online Entertainment customers. Though breach lawsuits rarely succeed, Corona and Mathis may have a chance if their lawyers can prove that they suffer from an impending threat.

In the case against Anthem, the stolen information included street and e-mail addresses and confidential employee data such as salary. Anthem’s security system failed to encrypt Social Security numbers and birth dates. The company has vowed to notify affected persons and provide free credit and identify-theft monitoring services.

Regardless of the outcome, data-breach litigation seems to be on the rise as more and more business is conducted online. Do you think employers have a responsibility to protect their employees and customers from data breaches?

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