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Morgan Stanley to Pay $60 Million to Settle Data-Breach Suit

The agreement would resolve claims over two security breaches that compromised personal information of 15 million current and former clients.

(Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $60 million to settle a class action suit by consumers claiming the firm failed to safeguard their personal information.

The agreement, if approved by a federal judge in Manhattan, would resolve claims over two security breaches that compromised personal information of 15 million current and former clients, according to a group of them that sued in July 2020. The customers claimed the information was stored in data centers that were shut down and on computer servers in branch locations that were replaced.

Data stored on the decommissioned data center equipment, including customers’ Social Security numbers and birth dates, weren’t fully wiped clean and the equipment went missing. A software flaw left data on the old servers in unencrypted form, they claimed.

“We have previously notified all potentially impacted clients regarding these matters, which occurred several years ago, and are pleased to be resolving this related litigation,” the bank said in a statement Monday.

Morgan Stanley shares were up 3.1% to $101.24 at 10:39 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange trading.

The parties announced in November that they had reached a settlement in principle, without disclosing details. Morgan Stanley continues to deny the claims, according to a court filing Friday seeking approval for the settlement. 

U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres must sign off on the deal before it can take effect.

The case is Tillman et al v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, 20-cv-5914, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

--With assistance from Andrea Vittorio.

TAGS: Technology
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