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Law Firm Sues FIS for Compromising Data of 8.5 Million Consumers

A law firm in California has sued Fidelity National Information Services and one of its affiliate companies for hacking into personal data of 8.5 Million consumers.

The Girard Gibbs LLP law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit representing nearly 8.5 Million consumers across the nation who suffered a theft of their personal and financial data by a staff member of Certegy Check Services Inc. He sold the stolen data to illegal third parties.

According to the complaint, a high-ranking database administrator meddled with the secret information of millions of consumers and then handed over the data for a price to data brokers and marketing firms who may have further sold it to other people.

A Los Angeles, California resident brought up the case when he started receiving a good many promotional and direct marketing offers and also phone calls. This was before FIS and Certegy publicly announced the data hack. Subsequently, the person received a mail post from Certegy telling him that one of its employees may have compromised his personal data. It was then that the plaintiff decided to use the services of a credit-monitoring agency.

FIS and Certegy are supposed to protect the confidential data of consumers as well as their employees as part of their duty. The moment the companies had come to know about the internal data breach, they should have informed the public in an adequate and timely manner, said Eric Gibbs, one of the attorneys for the plaintiff. Business News published Gibb's statement in the third week of August 2007. Since these companies failed to make the announcement, it exposed consumers to promotional and direct marketing schemes and to the danger of identity theft and illegal access to their bank accounts, Gibbs added.

From a long time, legal experts have been warning organizations that such lawsuits could come down similarly on them. Even then, there has been hardly any case filed in data compromise incident, and still fewer in which consumers have won. According to legal experts, the plaintiff in such lawsuits has a difficult time in proving an identity theft resulting from a data breach.

Related article: Law Revamps Web Security After Denial Of Service Attack

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