In June 2017, Anthem, Inc. agreed to pay a record $115 million to settle class action lawsuits stemming from a 2015 data breach that involved the personal information of nearly 80 million of Anthem’s customers. Although the Anthem settlement appears to be an outlier, there have been a number of other notable data breach settlements in the past few years. In 2016 and 2017, Home Depot settled the class action lawsuits based on the breach it had suffered for $19.5 million. Similarly, in 2015 and 2016, Target paid $10 million to settle the data breach class action lawsuits.
Are these settlements coincidental, or are they party of a trend that is likely to continue? Although each data breach class action arises out of its own particular circumstances, there are a number of factors that seem to be contributing to these large settlements.
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