First American Data Breach Lawsuit Investigation
Last Updated on April 14, 2022
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. The information here is for reference only. A list of open investigations and lawsuits can be viewed here.
- April 14, 2022 – Investigation Closed
- Attorneys working with ClassAction.org have decided to close their investigation into this matter. If you were affected by the breach and have questions about your rights, you may wish to reach out to an attorney in your area.
The information below was posted when the investigation began and remains for reference only. Our open list of investigations can be found here.
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Anyone who purchased title insurance from First American Financial Corporation and had their information exposed as part of a data breach discovered in May 2019.
- What’s Going On?
- Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are looking into whether they can file a class action lawsuit against First American over a 2019 data breach that exposed more than 885 million documents. To help with their investigation, the attorneys are interested in speaking with people who bought title insurance from First American Financial Corporation, particularly before February 2017.
- How Could a Class Action Help?
- A class action lawsuit could help First American customers recover compensation for unauthorized charges, damaged credit scores and the cost of credit and identity monitoring services.
If you bought title insurance from First American Financial Corporation and had your personal information exposed as part of a data breach discovered in May 2019, attorneys working with ClassAction.org want to hear from you.
They’re investigating whether First American Financial Corporation took appropriate steps to safeguard its customers’ personal data and, if not, whether they can file a class action lawsuit against the company.
The more people the attorneys can speak with, the better chance they have at getting a class action lawsuit on file. Attorneys are specifically looking to speak to those who obtained title insurance from First American prior to February 2017.
First American Data Breach: What Happened?
In May 2019, it was announced that First American Financial Corporation’s website leaked “hundreds of millions” of documents containing the following personally identifiable information:
- Social Security numbers
- Bank account numbers
- Financial and tax records
- Driver’s license information and images
The data breach reportedly stemmed from a “relatively common website design error” whereby a company publishes a website URL – which is created for and only supposed to be seen by a specific individual – but has no way of verifying who is actually viewing the information.
In the case of First American, the company allegedly sent customers a URL that contained a unique identifier, such as “DocumentID=000000201,” that could be altered to access other documents not meant to be seen by the URL recipient. For instance, someone could simply change “201” in the URL to “202” to gain unauthorized access to the documents and personal information attributed to that ID. It is believed that documents related to mortgage deals dating as far back as 2003 became accessible during the breach.
Currently, proposed class action litigation against First American Financial alleges that the company’s web-based document delivery system “lacked even the most rudimentary security measures” and gave “anyone with a valid URL” access to documents never intended for them. Krebs on Security, a popular website run by former Washington Post reporter Brian Krebs, noted that “even a novice attacker” would have been able to access the documents with ease.
As a result of the data breach, First American Financial customers have been put at risk for identity theft and fraud, including credit card fraud, utility fraud and bank fraud, and have been forced to spend both time and money to protect themselves against the misuse of their personal information.
How Could a Class Action Help?
A class action lawsuit could help recover monetary damages for losses related to the data breach, including, but not limited to, the following:
- The cost of credit monitoring, credit freezes and identity protection services
- Costs associated with the loss of use of a bank account, such as missed payments, late charges and fees
- Lowered credit scores
- Unauthorized charges
- Time spent mitigating the effects of the data breach
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