Anthem Settles for $16 Million Over 78.8 Million Record Data Breach

It was a data breach that affected 78.8 million people in 2015. Now, Anthem is settling with the US government for $16 million.

Anthem is a health insurance company that has been operating since the 40’s. Unfortunately for the company and their customers, 2015 is a year they no doubt want to forget. For those who recall, that was the year that hackers infiltrated the companies system and made off with the records of 78.8 million current and former customer records.

The records in question contained e-mail addresses, physical addresses, names, dates of birth, medical IDs, and, critically, social security numbers. They were investigated and the government found various privacy violations. Now, Anthem has agreed to a settlement of $16 million with the US government.

The settlement goes over top of the settlement of a class action lawsuit which saw the company pay $115 million. While a big number on face value, for those working the math, that amounts to just a little more than a dollar per customer. Here’s more from ZDNet:

The insurer did not admit liability, according to the AP, and the settlement fee was in lieu of civil penalties the agency could have imposed.

Under the terms of the agreement, Anthem will undertake a “corrective action plan,” according to to the news agency, in order to boost internal security procedures and practices. This will also require government monitoring.

Anthem said in a statement on Monday that the company has not received any reports of identity theft or fraud stemming from the data breach. Credit monitoring was provided to customers following the incident.

“Anthem takes the security of its data and the personal information of consumers very seriously,” the company said. “We have cooperated […] throughout their review and have now reached a mutually acceptable resolution.”

The higher ups are probably relieved that so much of this incident is now behind them. The settlements are past them and they now know what actions they need to take next. So, the light is probably at the end of the tunnel.

Now, whether or not customers are happy with the arrangement is unclear. It can’t be comforting knowing that their information is probably being actively bought and sold on the dark web for all they know. That dollar they got may be cold comfort at this stage. All they can do now is hope no one steals their identity at this point in time.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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