Breach, Data Security, Network Security

Anthem to pay record $115M to settle data breach suit


To settle litigation over a hacking incident in 2015 that compromised the personal information of 80 million customers, Anthem, the nation's largest health insurer, has agreed to a $115 million charge to settle a class action suit. The agreement is pending approval of a U.S. district court judge, who is scheduled to hear the case on August 17 in San Jose, Calif. The litigation consolidates more than 100 lawsuits resulting from the breach. Indianapolis-based Anthem offers health coverage in 14 states under the Blue Cross and Blue Shield brands.

Although Anthem said there was no evidence to prove that compromised data was sold or parlayed to commit fraud, in a statement the company said it is "pleased to be putting this litigation behind us."

In addition to the financial arrangement, which is intended to pay for two years' worth of credit monitoring for customers impacted by the breach, as part of the settlement Anthem agreed to implement further security measures, such as enhancements to its data security system, including encryption and stricter access controls.

Parties in the suit could choose to receive payouts rather than accept the offer for credit monitoring. That award is reportedly around $50 per class member.

If approved, the settlement would be the nation's largest data breach agreement. Retail giant Target is scheduled to pay $18.5 million to settle claims from a breach in 2013 of its credit card system, and Home Depot announced in 2016 that it would pay $19.5 million to settle a class-action suit resulting from a data breach of its network.

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