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T-Mobile’s large 2021 data breach bill will total a whopping $500 million

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Unlike arch-rivals Verizon and AT&T, T-Mobile has heroically resisted the undeniable pressures of rapidly mounting inflation in the country, by (almost) all wireless service rates unchanged and with the promise to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps one of the main reasons your monthly bill on T-Mo isn’t rising, at least for now, is the historically bad press the “Un-carrier” has gotten for everything from declining customer service to layoffs on layoffs and especially data breaches. So… a lot… data breaches!
Technically, Magenta is looking at two different bills, one for a $350 million settlement fund intended to cover everything from attorney’s fees to actual clients’ compensation for the infamous data breach revealed in August 2021 and one for an “incremental spending commitment of at least $150 million for data security and related technology” for 2022 and 2023.
In other words, if you were influenced in any way by T-Mo’s ridiculously weak security last year, you can expect to get a (small) chunk of that $350 million in the mail… eventually, while security will be bolstered with a $150 million “minimum” investment on top of of the carrier’s “previously budgeted baseline”.
See as how T-Mobile had already promised to pump a lot of money and resources to ensure that incidents like this don’t happen again, it sounds like this two-part class action settlement will cut quite a hole in the operator’s budget this year and The next. In comparison: a major network outage in 2020 that left millions of people without service (including emergency calls) for hours cost Magenta $19.5 million in a settlement with the Federal Communications Commission (which isn’t the same, but still).

Of course, from the perspective of the consumers involved, $350 million isn’t that much cash, as it probably amounts to an individual settlement of just a few dollars, taking into account all court costs, as well as the number of people estimated to be on at least some form of personal data that was compromised in August 2021.

We’re talking more than 70 million “current” (as of the date of the breach), former and “future” T-Mobile customers, although to be eligible for compensation, you must file a claim during a period of time and on a website to be announced.
All the necessary details for each of you to get paid will only come out after this proposed deal is approved by a judge “as soon as December.”

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