The University of Hawaii has settled a class action data breach lawsuit involving five data breaches between 2009 through 2011, according to a press release by Grande Law Offices.
The settlement will provide class action members with two years of credit monitoring and fraud restoration services.
The settlement in Gross v. University of Hawaii will impact about 98,000 UH students, faculty, alumni, employees and others who were part of the five data breaches.
The breaches occurred at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the University of Hawaii at West Oahu, Kapiolani Community College and Honolulu Community College.
"The settlement is historic for several reasons, " said Thomas Grande, who also represents the class action group. "First this is the largest class case filed or settled in Hawaii. It is also the first data breach settlement in Hawaii."
"We have researched more than 40 data breaches at colleges and universities across the country," said Bruce Sherman, one of the attorneys representing the class action. "In almost every instance, two years of credit monitoring and fraud restoration were offered to data breach victims. Offering two years of credit monitoring and fraud restoration services to breach victims should be the standard response by an breaching entity in Hawaii, including government agencies."
Sherman said credit monitoring provides for continuous checking by a credit agency of a class member's credit file. If there is any suspicious activity, the class member is notified immediately and is given assistance to resolve the problem.
"Credit monitoring services may cost as much as $5 to $15 per month if purchased individually." said Grande. "We are extremely pleased that the University has negotiated a settlement package that provides these services to every class member who wants them."
A UH spokeswoman said the estimated cost of the credit monitoring and restoration services is about $550,000 over the two-year period.
The settlement is still subject to court approval.
Class members will be sent a letter by March 1, 2012 that will allow them to sign up for the credit monitoring services online.
University faculty, students and alumni will also be sent emails to inform them of the credit monitoring services.
We'll have more on this story on KITV4 News at 6 p.m.