Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers faces a proposed class action after a data breach last fall reportedly exposed the personal information of the company’s clients, employees and other consumers.
The 34-page lawsuit alleges Ritchie Bros., a global asset management and disposition company through which customers can buy and sell used heavy equipment, trucks and other assets, failed to implement adequate cybersecurity procedures and protocols to properly safeguard its network. As a result, the suit says, the Nebraska-headquartered company experienced a data breach that lasted from October 28 to November 15, 2021.
The case relays that during this timeframe, an unauthorized actor was able to gain access to Ritchie Bros’ systems and the private information stored therein. Per the case, the data exposed during the incident included clients’, consumers’ and employees’ names; dates of birth; employee ID, Social Security and bank account numbers; email addresses; salary and compensation information; and gender, nationality and ethnic origin details.
The lawsuit says that although Ritchie Bros. discovered “unusual activity” on its network as early as November 14, 2021, the company waited roughly four months, until late March 2022, to send notice of the breach to those who were affected.
Per the case, the defendant has not yet revealed how the unauthorized actor was able to gain access to its systems.
The suit claims that the breach, during which an individual had “unfettered and undetected access” to Ritchie Bros.’ network for nearly three weeks, could have been prevented had the company implemented industry-standard cybersecurity measures.
According to the case, those whose information was compromised now face “years of constant surveillance” of their financial and personal accounts, not to mention damages caused by the fraudulent use of their data.
In light of these risks, the lawsuit argues that Richie Bros.’ offer of 24 months of credit and identity monitoring services is “wholly inadequate” to compensate data breach victims for the harms they’ve experienced and will continue to experience for the foreseeable future.
The case looks to represent anyone who was identified by Ritchie Bros. as among those impacted by the data breach, including individuals who were sent notice of the incident.
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