Walmart Inc. has been accused in a proposed class action lawsuit of violating California’s privacy law by failing to protect consumer data from an alleged hack. According to a Bloomberg news report, customers face significant injuries and damages such as having their data on the dark web as a result of a breach the complaint says occurred, the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California states.
California’s privacy law, which became effective Jan. 1, increases the risk of payouts following security breaches because it added a private right to sue and statutory damages of up to $750 per customer, per incident. Walmart joins a number of companies sued under the law since it took effect. Others include Salesforce.com, Clearview AI, Minted Inc. and Sunshine Behavioral Health Group.
Hackers allegedly gained access to Walmart’s website to obtain names, addresses, financial data and other information, the July 10 complaint says. The plaintiff in the case wrote explaining that Walmart was vulnerable to the hack, “Evidence that Wal-Mart was hacked”. Plaintiffs in data breach cases must show they suffered harm to beat early challenges to their claims. The plaintiff, in this case, Lavarious Gardiner, wrote that the breach forced him to incur out-of-pocket expenses and spend time and effort to limit identity theft risks.
Steps to Take After a Data Breach
There are a number of steps you can take if your personal information has been stolen or compromised. First, determine what kind of information was stolen. Credit and debit card numbers, dates of birth and e-mail addresses are more sensitive information that could be used to steal your identity.
Next, change all affected passwords. If an online account has been compromised, change the password on that account immediately. If you’ve used the same password for other accounts, change those as well and make up a new, strong password for each and every account. Contact banks and credit card companies immediately. Contact the major consumer credit-reporting bureaus and ask each to place a fraud alert on your name. If you place a credit freeze, no one will be allowed to open an account in your name without your explicit authorization.
It would also be a good idea for you to sign up for a credit monitoring service. Keep a close watch on all your account statements to watch out for any unauthorized charges. If you have been victimized by a data breach, an experienced class action attorney may be able to provide you with more information regarding your legal rights.