American shoe giant Zappos, owned by Amazon.com, has recently undergone a major security breach which exposed the personal details, albeit no full credit card information, of as many as 24 million of its customers.
The good news is that Zappos was fairly well-equipped to defend and respond to such an attack. Full credit card details were kept on a separate server and passwords were encrypted. And whilst some companies face a lot of bad press after a privacy breach, Zappos has been praised by many media publications for having a plan in place and responding so quickly. All customers who may have been affected have been emailed with details of the breach and asked to create a new password and all of Zappos staff have been asked to pitch in and respond to any email queries submitted by customers.
But even if they had all the right precautions in place and have handled the situation well, nothing can prevent the inevitable class action lawsuit to follow. Although unlikely to succeed as the plaintiffs will have trouble proving actual harm, Zappos will nonetheless be forced to defend itself in court. And there’s some argument that this trend of the courts’ reluctancy to find in favour of the plaintiffs in privacy breaches might be changing. In this particular lawsuit, it will be argued that the customers will now be more susceptible to phishing scams as hackers have their email addresses. Whether it’s a valid argument, however, is yet to be decided.
See the full story in the Financial Times
See the class action lawsuit story on PaidContent.org
Spain has jumped on the anti-piracy bandwagon and recently adopted an anti-internet piracy law which could force internet service providers (ISPs) to shut down offending websites within ten days. The law is in reponse to a report which found that nearly 98% of music consumed in Spain is done so illegally.
The so-called Sinde Law allows rights holders to report infringing websites to the newly created intellectual property commission, who will decide whether to take action against the websites or ISPs which support them.
Those from the creative industry are pleased but many internet activists, including bloggers and tech professionals, are protesting, saying it infringes on freedom of expression. The same battle is raging across several other European countries as well and in America, the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) is wrapped in controversy as it could require search engines, domain name registrars and ISPs to all play a part in taking down offending material. Firms such as Google and Twitter have spoken out against it, saying that the law is tantamount to censorship.
See the full story on BBC.co.uk
German sportswear manufacturer Adidas has recently taken its website content offline after suffering what it described as a ‘”sophisticated, criminal cyberattack.” The company says that there is no evidence the consumers’ data has been compromised and that the websites were quickly relaunched after additional security measures where put in place.
The news comes after the Sony breach earlier this year when millions of users’ details were compromised and the recent report that 29 chemical companies had been targeted in cyber attacks.
See the full story on BBC.co.uk