Wireless carrier T-Mobile has agreed to pay $350 million to settle complaints relating to last year’s major data breach. Plaintiffs say the hack exposed data on millions of customers.
The settlement was first disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing back in July.
T-Mobile customers, both past and present, could receive compensation from the settlement. Of course, not all of the $350 million will go to consumers.
Lawyers have to be paid. Also, $150 million will go to beef up T-Mobile security, described by the hacker in a confession to the Wall Street Journal, as “awful.”
According to Reuters, people who were T-Mobile customers at the time of the hack could receive $25 if the settlement is approved. Customers living in California would receive up to $100. The final amount will likely be determined by how many customers make a claim.
In fact, the number of consumers affected by the breach is not precisely known. Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the number is over 76 million, a claim disputed by T-Mobile.
Getting paid could take months
T-Mobile has not yet laid out steps for making a claim. In past settlements people eligible to receive compensation have usually been notified by mail. According to Tech Crunch, it could take several months for the company to sort everything out and contact eligible customers.
The settlement was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, which must give final approval. The settlement merged more than 40 class-action suits that claimed T-Mobile was lax with its network security.
If the settlement wins the court’s approval, it would be the second-largest data breach settlement in U.S. history. Equifax's $700 million settlement in 2019 is the largest.