United States District Judge Lucy Koh on Wednesday came to a decision that a number of plaintiffs are allowed to move forward with their lawsuit against Yahoo which they filed over several data breaches that the company suffered in recent years which compromised more than a billion users. The San Jose-based District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the plaintiffs have a legitimate claim that they suffered due to Yahoo's failure to disclose the controversial breaches in time, consequently rejecting the defendant's claim that there's no legal basis for the case.
Judge Koh specifically mentioned allegations related to unfair competition and breach of contract as being a valid basis for the plaintiffs to sue the company that now operates as part of Verizon's division Oath which was created by merging Yahoo's Internet assets with AOL. Some of the plaintiffs claim that they were victims of identity theft after their Yahoo-stored data was compromised without their knowledge, with others claiming that they had to spend money to minimize the chances of their identities being stolen and saying how such a scenario is now significantly more realistic due to Yahoo's actions. A number of plaintiffs also claimed that they could have avoided any negative consequences of the hacking attacks had Yahoo notified them about the issue and told them to change their passwords in a timely manner.
One of the plaintiffs' attorneys John Yanchunis referred to Yahoo's troubles as the largest "data breach" in the industry's history and called Judge Koh's decision as "a significant victory for consumers." Yahoo suffered three breaches in a period from 2013 to 2016, with the first one being said to have affected over a billion users. Verizon has yet to comment on the matter in an official capacity, though the latest turn of events is unlikely to please the telecom giant which spent $4.76 billion to acquire Yahoo's core business as part of a deal which was concluded in June in an attempt to diversify its operations and strengthen its advertising endeavors. The U.S. Department of Justice has already indicted three people over Yahoo hacks earlier this year, though only one of them is expected to personally face the charges laid out by the government, with the other two currently residing in Russia with little to no chances of being extradited.