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T-Mobile Data Breach | Is Your Data Privacy Safe?

You would expect that one of the largest mobile carriers in the United States would have top-notch data security measures to protect their customers’ personal information. 

Unfortunately, this is not the case for T-Mobile.

The hybrid communication and financial corporation has experienced numerous hacks since 2009, leaving millions of customers’ personal information exposed and vulnerable to cyberattacks.

At Kazerouni Law Group APC, our data breach lawyers looked into data privacy issues related to T-Mobile. Our hope is that the information helps consumers understand what they are and how a data privacy attorney can help.

T-Mobile Data Breach | What Is Data Privacy?

Data privacy refers to collecting, using, sharing, and storing personal information by individuals, organizations, or governments, including but not limited to: 

  • Full legal name 
  • Address 
  • Social Security number 
  • Email address 
  • Phone number 
  • Financial information 
  • Government ID information

As consumers, we constantly provide this private data to companies like T-Mobile when we sign up for services or make purchases. 

Though sometimes necessary, this exchange of personal data can put us at risk if companies do not properly secure and protect our information.

How Do T-Mobile Data Breaches Happen?

Shortfalls in Company Safeguards

Data breaches often occur due to the lack of proper cyber-security measures. This could be as simple as failing to update software or not utilizing firewalls and encryption.

Cyber Attacks

Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in hacking company databases and stealing sensitive information. They can infiltrate systems through malware, phishing scams, or exploiting vulnerabilities in a company’s security system.

Insider Threats

Not all data breaches are caused by external forces. Sometimes, employees or contractors with access to sensitive data may intentionally or unintentionally compromise private data through negligence, carelessness, or malicious intent.

Notable T-Mobile Data Breach Cases

T-Mobile Data Breaches 2023

T-Mobile experienced four major data hacks in 2023. The most egregious incidents happened on two separate occasions in January and September.

The January data breach exposed 87 GB of employee data, including names, emails, phone numbers, and social security numbers. 

A person sits at a desk with two monitors displaying "SYSTEM HACKED" error messages.

The September breach was more extensive, affecting over 49 million customers’ personal information, including their names, dates of birth, billing addresses, and contact information.

Although a data breach in April affected fewer customers than the January attack, it exposed even more sensitive private data, including social security numbers, T-Mobile account pins, and government ID data.

An additional September breach exposed personal information to other T-Mobile customers rather than hackers. A glitch in the app allowed customers to access other users’ account information, including their phone numbers, emails, and financial information.

T-Mobile Data Breaches 2021

Though T-Mobile experienced only a single data breach in 2021, it was significant enough to affect over 76 million customers.

In August of that year, a hacker gained unauthorized access to customer data through an API (Application Programming Interface) used by T-Mobile’s digital wallet app.

The “bad actor” made off with sensitive information such as names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and driver’s license numbers.

While no financial information was reported stolen, the information stolen was more than enough for identity theft or other fraudulent activities.

T-Mobile Data Breaches 2020

The two hacks in March and December 2020 are shrouded in mystery. T-Mobile has not provided much concrete information about these two incidents, leading some to speculate that they were downplaying the situation or trying to sweep it under the rug. 

The March hack compromised employee email data. Alarmingly, many of these emails held incredibly sensitive personal information, including government ID data, social security numbers, and other private financial information. 

The December hack is a little less mysterious but no less disturbing. It exposed customer proprietary network information on 200,000 T-Mobile users. Though no financial data was stolen, this information contains more than enough data to allow hackers to hijack customer accounts or steal personal identities.

T-Mobile Data Breaches 2009 – 2019

In the decade before the pandemic, T-Mobile experienced no less than 5 significant data breaches, exposing hundreds of millions of customer records and sensitive personal information. 

Compromised data in these incidents wasn’t always a result of hackers or cybercriminals. In the 2009 data breach, a T-Mobile employee stole and sold millions of customer records to the highest bidders.

While these data breaches occurred in the past, their devastating impact still severely affects consumers today. 

Leaked private data can still be bought and sold on the dark web, putting individuals at risk of identity theft and other fraudulent activities long after they thought the issue had been resolved.

Can A Consumer Protection Lawyer Help Me After A T-Mobile Breach?

Understanding Your Rights

No matter the size and scope of a data breach, affected consumers have rights. A consumer protection lawyer can help you understand those rights and determine the best legal options.

Though there are no blanket federal laws for data breaches, legislation does exist to protect consumers’ personal information in certain industries. 

In the case of a T-Mobile data breach, the most relevant legislation is often the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).

The GBLA requires financial institutions, including T-Mobile, to: 

  • Make public disclosures about their data protection policies and procedures.
  • Notify consumers when a data breach exposes their personal information.
  • Provide some form of identity theft prevention or mitigation services to affected individuals.

Other protections, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), TCPA, CCPA, and state laws, may also apply depending on the extent to which your personal information is compromised and used.

Even if you don’t think these consumer protections apply to your situation, you should still schedule a free case evaluation with a consumer protection lawyer. 

An attorney may have additional insights into your case and provide alternative legal options to seek justice and recover compensation for damages.

Ultimately, your consumer protection attorney will assess the severity and impact of the hack on your personal information to determine if you have a valid case. 

If so, they will work to negotiate a settlement with T-Mobile to compensate you for any damages or losses as a result of the breach, which could include: 

  • Costs associated with freezing or monitoring your credit
  • Loss of income due to identity theft
  • Reimbursement for any fraudulent charges on your accounts
  • Compensation for emotional distress and other non-economic damages.

If T-Mobile refuses a reasonable settlement, your attorney may pursue a class-action lawsuit against the company, representing a group of affected individuals seeking compensation.

Though you may have three to six years to file a claim depending on the nature of the hack, begin the legal process the moment you become aware of a data breach or suspect your personal information may have been compromised.

With the time it takes to navigate the legal process, document damages, and build a case, you could miss out on the opportunity to seek maximum compensation for damages.

Fortunately, the best consumer protection law firms offer no-obligation consultations, so you can explore your options without putting yourself at further financial risk.

How Much Is My T-Mobile Data Breach Case Worth?

The value of a T-Mobile data breach case varies depending on the circumstances and damages incurred by each individual.

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Factors that may affect the amount of compensation awarded in a settlement or lawsuit include: 

  • The severity and scope of the data breach (i.e., how many individuals were affected)
  • The type of personal information compromised (e.g., sensitive financial information vs. name and email address)
  • The damages incurred by each individual (e.g., identity theft, financial loss, emotional distress)
  • Any negligence or intentional misconduct on the part of T-Mobile.

While you’ll need to consult a consumer protection law firm for an accurate assessment of your case’s value according to applicable laws, recoverable damages from a T-Mobile data privacy violation could include: 

  • Financial losses: Compromised data privacy costs the average American at least $1,600 in identity theft. This amount could total in the tens or hundreds of thousands when a breach hacks multiple accounts or when the breached data includes additional personal information beyond financial details. 
  • Fraud and identity theft-related costs: These may include charges for credit monitoring and identity theft protection services, which average $700 per year for a single person. Costs for credit disputes, legal fees to resolve financial problems, and other expenses incurred can total hundreds of thousands or millions, depending on the severity of the issue.
  • Emotional distress: The stress and emotional toll of having personal information compromised can be significant, especially if it leads to identity theft or financial loss. Non-economic damages such as mental anguish and emotional distress vary greatly depending on case specifics.
  • Statutory damages: These are damages awarded by a court for violations of specific laws, such as the FCRA or TCPA, and may also be available in a T-Mobile data breach case. Awards have been as high as $25,000 per individual in some cases.

The value of your case will ultimately depend on whether you pursue a settlement or take your case to court and the strength of the evidence you have supporting your claims. 

A skilled consumer protection lawyer can help you determine the potential value of your case and work to ensure that you receive fair compensation for any damages incurred as a result of a data breach. 

What Should I Do After a T-Mobile Data Breach?

Change your passwords and personal PINs.

When you receive a data breach notification from T-Mobile, it’s essential to change all your passwords and PINs associated with your T-Mobile account or potentially compromised financials. This will help prevent any further unauthorized access to your personal information.

Monitor your accounts and credit report.

Keep a close eye on your financial accounts associated with T-Mobile for any suspicious activity or charges. It’s also important to regularly check your credit report for any unauthorized accounts or inquiries that may indicate identity theft.

Place a fraud alert or freeze on your credit.

Fraud alerts and freeze requests make it more difficult for anyone to open new accounts in your name without your knowledge. They also create a clearer separation between your financial activity and a thief’s actions.

Contact a consumer protection lawyer.

After a T-Mobile data hack, seek legal guidance from a consumer protection lawyer as soon as possible. They can evaluate your situation and determine the best action to seek compensation for any damages or losses incurred. 

No company is immune to data breaches. However, that doesn’t mean you have to suffer the financial and emotional consequences of a T-Mobile data breach. 

Reclaim your security, financial stability, and peace of mind with the help of a reputable consumer protection lawyers with experience in data breach cases. 

By seeking legal representation, you can hold T-Mobile accountable for failing to protect your personal information and seek compensation for any damages incurred. 

Please don’t wait until it’s too late. Get a free consultation with Kazerouni Law Group, APC, and learn more about your rights and legal options.

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