LifeLabs Data Breach Class Action FAQ
- *Nothing below should be relied on as legal advice pertaining directly to your situation. It is general information only about general practices in potential class action lawsuits.*
If you think you’ve been impacted by the LifeLabs data breach, you are not alone. It has impacted almost every single person in Ontario and British Columbia.
Multiple class action lawsuits have been commenced against LifeLabs regarding the hacking of their data. I am not one of the lawyers presently suing LifeLabs for the data breach.
For general information about class actions you can see a summary here:
If the lawsuits are certified as a class action by the courts, then anyone affected by the data breach will automatically be a part of the lawsuit. At this time, you are generally not required to take any actions to participate.
If/when the lawsuit is certified as a class action by the court, the lawyers will try to contact all potential parties of their right to “opt out” of the class action lawsuit. As well, in the event of a settlement or verdict, the lawyers will attempt to contact everyone giving them an opportunity to participate and submit a claim.
Different lawyers are offering clients an opportunity to register their information at this time. It is up to you if you wish to do so.
At this time, there are multiple lawyers seeking to control the action against LifeLabs. This process will slowly go through the courts over the next year or two.
If you are a customer of LifeLabs and wish to participate in the lawsuit you should continue to monitor updates about the class action that are posted online or in local newspapers.
There is no guarantee that the lawsuits will be successful or if payments will be made.
LifeLabs is offering free credit monitoring for 1 year through transunion. Their offer indicates that you are not surrendering any of your rights to sue them by accepting the offer. I imagine the main cost will be a sales call at the end of the year seeking your paid renewal of the service. Full details can be found here: https://customernotice.lifelabs.com/faqs/
Please note the following general tips regarding online fraud and security:
1)Almost no legitimate business will request passwords, security questions, social insurance numbers, or other personally identifiable information on a direct phone call.
2) do not enter your account number and password following a link from an e-mail. Go to the company directly from a separate browser.
3) do not use a debit card on the internet if you can avoid it. Credit cards have significantly more protections. If you pay off the balance immediately, it's the same as a debit card in practice.
4) If you are concerned a phone call or email is not legitimate, ask for the last name and extension of the caller. Hang up, wait 10 minutes and call the main line of the organization that you find on the publicly available website. Consider using a separate phone number if possible.
5) The government (Canada Revenue, RCMP, Police etc.) will never threaten to sue, deport or arrest you over the phone. They will not take payments in gift cards, bitcoin, or other cryptocurrency, There will never be additional penalties if you want to speak to family, friends, a lawyer, or the police.
6) Monitor your credit report. Many banks now offer the service for free directly through online banking.
7) don't re-use the same password for multiple sites. Create a new email address to be used only for online activities. Try to have passwords as long as possible. A simple way to have a sophisticated password is to think of a sentence that's easy to remember but nearly impossible to guess. I.e. "Ispendtimewithmysononthe1stdayofJanuary!"
If you have any other litigation, injury, insurance, consumer protection, or legal technology related questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .