Not long after Capital One’s announcement that the personal information of 106 million customers had been accessed in a data breach, the bank found itself facing the first lawsuits in what could play out to be a tidal wave of potential class action litigation.
Among the first suits to be filed was a proposed class action out of California federal court that alleges defendant Capital One Bank (USA), N.A.’s “substantially deficient” cybersecurity allowed a hacker to access customers’ social security numbers, names, credit scores, bank account numbers, dates of birth, self-reported income, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses in what’s been called “one of the biggest data breaches ever.”
According to the case, Capital One determined on July 19, 2019 that a misconfigured firewall on the company’s cloud-based web application had allowed a hacker, who is now facing criminal charges, to access and copy customers’ private files and share them on GitHub, a social networking site for programmers. The breach reportedly occurred as early as March 12 yet was not discovered by Capital One until mid-July, the suit says.
That case and at least two others—filed in the District of Columbia and Virginia, respectively—claim Capital One, although representing to customers that it had “safeguards” in place to protect their private information, failed to take the necessary steps to do so. As a result, an estimated 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 linked bank account numbers were reportedly compromised.
The California suit seeks to require Capital One to make changes to its security processes, including by engaging auditors to analyze its practices and procedures, deleting unnecessary customer data, and retraining security personnel, as well as provide “ongoing identity theft protection, monitoring, and recovery services” to proposed class members.
The lawsuit looks to cover a proposed class of individuals who applied for a Capital One credit card anytime since 2005, with a proposed subclass of applicants in California.
The full complaints filed in California and Virginia can be read below.