The Zappos retail store, specializing in footwear and clothing, seeks to compensate the approximately 24 million users of a situation that resulted in the leak of their important data, such as addresses, passwords, and even final credit card digits.
A commercial solution to avoid losses
The situation took place in January 2012 when the Amazon-owned store suffered an attack that compromised the billing and profile data of the service users. Although it is normal for these types of violations to be resolved over extended periods, in the case of Zappos the solution seems rather a joke. The store proposed in the fall of this year to offer to the affected users a ridiculous discount when buying one product from the store.
An ironic movement considering that this commits users to continue sharing information with Zappos to be able to use it and that it is not even an extraordinary coupon since it only offers a 10% discount (with a deadline for use until December 31 or 60 days after received).
This very surreal solution by Zappos, which seems like a way to generate profits in the remainder of the year, was presented to the Nevada District Court of the United States, and everything indicates that it will be approved in the coming weeks.
A setback in consumer rights
Beyond the fact that it's strange that Zappos wants to offer a coupon as compensation, if accepted this solution would represent a setback in consumer protection laws, as it shows how easy it is for companies to get rid of such serious issues as data leaks.
In comparison, in 2017, Equifax also went through a similar case where the data of 145 million users were filtered, and the penalty was up to $700 million in compensation.
Although on paper it seems as if the authorities were raising awareness about how sensitive it is that this type of data is leaked, the truth is that at the moment it is very unlikely that Equifax will end up paying that fine.
Recently, Yahoo was also criticized for offering compensation to only the customers of a few countries, after its own data breach.
The solution proposed by Zappos could be the end of a 7-year case that the retailer has tried to dismiss on more than one occasion. The reaction of those affected has not yet occurred, although many are likely to be happy simply because a conclusion is reached.
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