Yahoo faces proposed Canadian class action over compromised user info

Yahoo is facing a proposed class action on behalf of Canadians

TORONTO — Yahoo is facing a proposed class action on behalf of Canadians whose personal information may have been stolen, according to a notice of action filed Friday.

The $50-million claim would take in Canadians whose user account information was stolen, or whose email accounts were accessed in recent years.

According to the notice, the representative plaintiff, Natalia Karasik, of Barrie, Ont., received a letter from Yahoo on Thursday informing her that her information was part of a hack of its servers — in 2013.

Karasik, who could not immediately be reached, was unaware of the breach until she received the letter, the notice of action filed in Ontario Superior Court states. She has used email to chat about a wide range of personal information, including financial and health information, according to the notice.

“She’s been using her Yahoo email account as her exclusive email system,” lawyer Ted Charney said in an interview. “So, essentially, she’s at risk for someone having access to all of her emails and everything she’s done with her email account for a couple of years.”

Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In September, the company sent a mass email to users to inform them that their account information had been stolen from its network in a cyberattack in late 2014. The information included email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, passwords and security questions. The company said at least 500 million user accounts were affected.

This week, Yahoo alerted users to an earlier cyberattack — from August 2013 — with similar information hacked from more than one billion accounts.

“We have not been able to identify the intrusion associated with this theft,” Yahoo’s head of security Bob Lord said in an online post Dec. 14.

The company also said hackers used “forged cookie files” in separate attacks this year and last by which intruders could have accessed Yahoo user accounts.

“We have connected some of this activity to the same state-sponsored actor believed to be responsible for the data theft the company disclosed on Sept. 22, 2016,” Lord said.

The notice of action also asserts that documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in November show Yahoo knew about the 2014 breach shortly after it occurred “contrary to its representations to its users.”

Toronto-based Rogers Communications, whose customers’ email accounts are “powered” by Yahoo, said it had “every reason” to believe some of them would have been affected.

“We have been in contact with Yahoo and understand they are taking steps to notify people potentially impacted,” spokesman Rogers Aaron Lazarus said in an email. “We encourage people to regularly change and set strong passwords.”

The unproven claim — which has yet to be certified as a class action or tested in any court — alleges Yahoo breached its contract with users, invaded their privacy, and unjustly enriched itself at their expense. The claim also seeks $10 million in punitive damages.

Charney said it was not necessary to prove under Canadian law that anyone actually suffered damages as a result of the hacks. Besides leaning on contract law, he noted relatively recent recognition of the wrongdoing of “intrusion upon seclusion,” which presumes damages if a privacy breach is proven.

Just Posted

Red Deer RCMP seek public assistance to identify suspect in indecent acts

Red Deer RCMP are looking for a man believed to be responsible… Continue reading

RDC wins big at marketing conference

College won nine awards at the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations Conference

Red Deer part of province-wide bottle drive on Saturday

Two local groups collecting bottles and cans as part The Great Prairie Bottle Harvest

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Police hand out a few hefty fines for allegedly violating Cannabis Act

The celebratory mood that marked the legalization of recreational cannabis lost a… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Most Read