How many company data breaches will affect you in your lifetime?

How many company data breaches will affect you in your lifetime?
Tessa de Vries | June 23, 2022

While the title may scare you, this question is important to consider; many of you are likely users or clients of a company that has faced a cyber attack, breaching user data, and now facing a class action lawsuit. Some of you, may even be users or clients of multiple of these companies.

It’s difficult for the average user to understand exactly how a company may be misusing data, not only due to lack of domain knowledge and legal nuances, but the overwhelming tendency for companies to use vague terms in their policies. However, when a lawsuit breaks the news and affects millions of users, it can be a major concern that immediately grabs your attention. And these days, with user data at the forefront of any and every company, it seems as though we blindly put our trust in systems that may be weak to security.

You may wonder, so what companies and lawsuits are you talking about?

To name a few of the biggest, most widespread:

Capital One: In July 2019, Capitol One was fined $80 million by the U.S Treasury Department for careless network security practices that enabled a hacker to access the personal information of 106 million of the bank’s credit card holders. Among the largest of its kind on record at the time, the breach compromised about 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers (Press).

T-Mobile: In August 2021, T-Mobile announced that their systems were subject to a criminal cyberattack that compromised data of millions of customers, former customers, and prospective customers. Fortunately, the breach did not expose any customer financial information, but, like so many breaches, some SSN, name, address, DOB and driver’s license/ID information were compromised (Sievert).

TikTok: In November 2021, TikTok agreed to pay $92 million to settle over a dozen lawsuits alleging that the platform harvested personal user data, including information using facial recognition technology, without consent. TikTok allegedly tracked and sold the data of 89 million users to advertisers and third parties in China in violation of state and federal law (Allyn). 

TikTok Notification – Lawsuit

Are there more?

The short answer is yes. There are numerous big and small companies that have faced legal consequences and lawsuits over data malpractice. Most of these you can find and read about online. However, a big concern remains how many companies are there that are using malpractice and getting away with it, flying under the radar? How many companies have weak security systems that are at risk of being hacked and facing a data breach? Of course, and frustratingly enough, this question is impossible to answer.

Well what can I do about it?

First, if you are or were a user at one of the companies that has faced a lawsuit or fine for data malpractice, you can file a claim and join the class action lawsuit.

Second, you can read up on company data policies in detail. Many of us hit the agree button without taking any time to read the actual data policy. Additionally, while reading the policy, you can evaluate it against state and federal privacy regulations.

Third, although this is very challenging, you can try to be selective with which companies you choose to subscribe to. The good thing about this day and age, there are countless companies providing the same service. For example, as of 2022, there are 747 Wireless Telecommunications Carriers businesses.

Closing remarks

While we on the user end cannot control how a company operates around our data or how strong their security system is, it’s important to be aware and educate yourself on potential risks. And when you are put in a situation where your data has been compromised, you seek justice or some sort of compensation to hold these companies accountable.


Jewett, Abraham. “Data Breaches: Current Open Lawsuits and Settlements.” Top Class Actions, 26 Apr. 2022,

Allyn, Bobby. “Tiktok to Pay $92 Million to Settle Class-Action Suit over ‘Theft’ of Personal Data.” NPR, NPR, 25 Feb. 2021,

Press, The Associated. “Capital One Is Fined $80 Million for Huge Data Breach.” Fortune, Fortune, 7 Aug. 2020,

Sievert, Mike. “The Cyberattack against t‑Mobile and Our Customers: What Happened, and What We Are Doing about It. ‑ t‑Mobile Newsroom.” TMobile, 27 Aug. 2021,