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9/21/2017
09:23 AM
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OPM Data Breach Lawsuit Tossed, Fed Plaintiffs will Appeal

A judge ruled federal employees cannot sue for damages from the 2015 Office of Personnel Management data breach.

Federal employees plan to appeal a judge's decision stating they cannot sue for damages from the 2015 Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breach, The Washington Times reported this week.

The workers won't be able to sue because they cannot show the stolen data has been used by attackers, said US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Compromised information includes sensitive personal details like financial and health data, taken from about 22 million personnel files. Experts have not been able to determine whether the stolen data was sold or used.

Judge Jackson's ruling is getting pushback from employee labor unions, which had filed a class action lawsuit to help workers whose data had been stolen and force the government to better protect information. The National Treasury Employees Union announced plans to appeal on Sept. 19; the American Federation of Government Employees National is debating the next steps.

OPM responded to the data breach with new security tools and launched multi-factor authentication for employees. The agency also made plans to hire a cybersecurity advisor.

Read more details here.

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REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
9/21/2017 | 9:40:34 AM
Interesting
Workers cannot sue because of a data breach.  Read that: PEOPLE cannot sue over a data breach - Equifax.  This could have enormous legal consequences - something to watch.  (Lawyers love this stuff).
tim77
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tim77,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/21/2017 | 12:25:18 PM
Information vs Money
Why should one have to prove they are damaged by having their information stolen? If a thief steals your money you don't have to prove they spent it only that they stole it. Information should be treated in the same manner!
REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
9/21/2017 | 12:41:35 PM
Re: Information vs Money
Good point - information theft is invisible if compared to car or money theft.  If a thief breaks into your home, that is a robbery.  If a thief steals a garden hose outside, that is theft.  There is a difference.  Information is invisible of course but if you went to your ATM and instead of seeing $33,202 in savings and there is $-29.33 there, I would think legal recourse has to be taken somewhere.  A thief broke INTO SOMETHING to get your data.  The thief did NOT RETRIEVE YOUR ATM CARD from the street.  Same difference.  

The answer to your question is WHO was guarding the vault?  Who has responsibility for the vault?  If i leave my house wide open with a sign saying MONEY IN HERE, then I am clearly at fault.  Same with Experian to a degree.
gwilson001
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gwilson001,
User Rank: Strategist
9/21/2017 | 2:06:00 PM
Re: Interesting
That is the underlying threat here - a precedent that Equifax will surely jump on to ward off the class action suits against them.  This was a shortsighted decision by a Judge that clearly does not understand the problem or the the impact this stupid decision will have on millions of victims of the Equifax and other future data thefts.

This is a common probelm, the judiciary does not understand technology and they consequently make idiotic rulings based on that lack of understanding.  This could let Equifax off the hook as far as civil actions are concerned.  unfortunate because Equifax should not be allowed to continue as a business - they cannot be trusted with sensitive data we have not given them explicit permission to aggreagate and store.
RyanSepe
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RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2017 | 8:28:02 AM
Based on outcome
I understand that this judgement was made based on the lack of evidence that attackers maliciously used the data in question but is there a statute of limitation for instances like this?
REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2017 | 2:39:41 PM
Re: Based on outcome
There is also a time-value on WHEN an attacker decides to use that stolen Mastercard number of SS number is there not?  An actor may wait weeks or months or have to dig through the 143 million stolen from Equifax before action is indeed taken.  Theft is theft - and break-in is theft writ large.  This is quite a legal tangle!!!  Kinda like stealing a car out of a driveway without breaking the window but parking it around the block until, oh, one night when it is sold for parts!!!  When IS the criminal act perfrmed?  
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2017 | 11:33:37 AM
Strange
The workers won't be able to sue because they cannot show the stolen data has been used by attackers This is new for me, so breach can happen but if data is not used that would not be consider an issue. Interesting.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2017 | 11:34:55 AM
Re: Interesting
Lawyers love this stuff Yes, it does not make sense and confuses the public, that would help lawyers.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2017 | 11:36:09 AM
Re: Information vs Money
If a thief steals your money you don't have to prove they spent it only that they stole it. That makes sense, I wonder where the judge is coming from. Very strange decision.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2017 | 11:38:51 AM
Re: Information vs Money
information theft is invisible if compared to car or money theft That makes sense however data/information is value to the owners of that, and stolen so there should be consequence on that.
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