Data breaches pose a significant threat to consumer privacy and increase consumers’ risk of falling victim to identity theft and suffering other financial losses. In recent news, maternity clothing retailer Destination Maternity announced a major data breach involving sensitive information of more than 93,000 current and former employees. On August 13, 2021, the company sent out data breach notifications to all affected parties, informing them that the event resulted in their name, address, and Social Security number being accessed by an unauthorized third party.
Anyone in receipt of a Destination Maternity data breach notification should take it seriously. Too often, consumers disregard these letters because they have yet to see any impact from the data breach. However, over the past two years, the rate of identity theft crimes has increased dramatically. If you recently received a data breach letter from Destination Maternity, it is imperative that you take the necessary steps to protect yourself. Additionally, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a data breach lawsuit if evidence emerges that Destination Maternity mishandled your data leading up to the breach.
Is Destination Maternity Financially Liable for the Data Breach?
When you went to work at Destination Maternity, you hoped that, as your employer, the company would take your privacy seriously. And you certainly assumed that your private information wouldn’t end up in the hands of criminals, hackers or other bad actors. However, given the news of the recent Destination Maternity data breach, it appears that is exactly what happened.
Companies like Destination Maternity have a legal obligation to protect employees’ personal, identifying and financial information. While this requires companies to devote time and money to develop security measures, these are merely costs of doing business. If an employer fails to protect their workers’ sensitive information, the company may be liable through a data breach class action lawsuit. Of course, data breach laws are complicated, and it is too early to say whether Destination Maternity is responsible for failing to implement the necessary systems to protect against the breach. However, our data breach law firm is currently investigating whether there is a possible class action data breach lawsuit against Destination Maternity. If you have questions about whether you can bring a Destination Maternity class action lawsuit, it is important you reach out to a data breach attorney as soon as possible.
What to Do if You Received a Destination Maternity Data Breach Letter
If Destination Maternity sent you a data breach notification letter, it is important you take a moment and reflect upon what it means. Essentially, Destination maternity is informing you that an unauthorized person gained access to the company’s servers and may have accessed, viewed, and retained your name, address and Social Security number. While Destination Maternity cannot tell why the third party sought your data, the situation justifies a certain level of precaution on your part. Below are a few ways to protect yourself from identity theft and the other possible financial risks that can step from a data breach:
Carefully read the Destination Maternity data breach letter to determine what information of yours was accessible;
Make a copy of the letter for your records;
Enroll in the free credit monitoring service provided by Destination Maternity;
Change the passwords for all your online accounts;
Regularly review your credit card and bank account statements for any signs of suspicious activity;
Monitor your credit report for any unexpected changes that may be a sign of identity theft;
Contact one of the major credit bureaus to request they add a fraud alert to your profile; and
Notify your banks and credit card companies of the data breach.
About Destination Maternity
Destination Maternity is a retail clothing store specializing in maternity and nursing clothing. The company sells clothing under two labels: Motherhood Maternity and Pea in the Pod. Destination Maternity is the world’s largest maternity clothing retailer. It was founded and is still based in Moorestown, New Jersey. Destination Maternity generates roughly $383 million in annual revenue and currently employs over 3,600 people.
The Details of the Destination Maternity Consumer Data Breach
According to the official sources, on March 20, 2021, Destination Maternity became aware that an unauthorized third party had gained access to the company’s IT systems. After conducting an investigation with the assistance of a third-party forensic specialist, it was discovered that the hacker accessed information related to 93,776 current and former employees. This compromised information consists of the full name, address and Social Security number of affected individuals. Destination maternity believes that the unauthorized third party had access to the company’s systems between March 16, 2021 and April 13, 2021. On August 13, 2021, the company issued a series of data breach notification letters to anyone impacted by the cybersecurity event.
Below is a copy of the data breach letter issued by Destination Maternity (the actual notice sent to consumers can be found here):
Destination Maternity is writing to make you aware of an incident that may affect the security of some of your personal information. Safeguarding our employee’s information is very important to us. This letter provides details of this incident, what we did in response, and the resources that are available to you to help protect your personal information from possible misuse, should you feel it is appropriate to do so.
On March 20, 2021, Destination Maternity experienced a cyber event that impacted certain information technology systems. We immediately took steps to isolate those systems and, as part of our comprehensive response, launched an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the incident. We are working with leading third-party forensic specialists to assist in our response and support the investigation. During the investigation, we learned that unauthorized individuals gained access to our network which impacted information related to employees stored on the network. We worked as quickly as possible to review the impacted information to determine those individuals whose information was present and notify them about this incident.
What Information Was Involved?
Our investigation to date has determined that your name, address, and Social Security number were potentially affected by this incident. This incident may have impacted bank information if that information was provided to Destination Maternity.
What We Are Doing.
We take this incident and the security of personal information in our care seriously. Upon learning of this incident, we moved quickly to investigate and respond to this incident, assess the security of relevant systems, and notify potentially affected individuals. We also notified and are cooperating with Federal law enforcement. As part of our ongoing commitment to the security of information, we are also reviewing and enhancing existing policies and procedures to reduce the likelihood of a similar future event.
As an added precaution, we are offering you access to credit monitoring and identity theft protection services for 12 months at no cost to you, through Experian IdentityWorks. You may find information on how to enroll in these services in the enclosed “Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Information.” We encourage you to enroll in these services as we are not able to do so on your behalf.
What You Can Do.
We encourage you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing your account statements and monitoring your free credit reports for suspicious activity and to detect errors over the next 12 to 24 months. Please also review the information contained in the enclosed “Steps You Can Take to Help Protect Your Information.”
For More Information.
We understand that you may have questions about this incident that are not addressed in this letter. If you have additional questions, please call our dedicated assistance line at (877) 653-0568 between the hours of Monday – Friday, 8 am to 10 pm CT; Saturday – Sunday, 10 am to 7 pm CT (excluding major US Holidays). This line is staffed with specialists who understand these types of incidents and the steps that can be taken to support you. We take this incident very seriously and sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause you.