MCCCD Data Breach Costs Reach $19.7 Million


The Arizona Republic reports that the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) governing board has approved an additional $300,000 for records management and $2.3 million in lawyers' fees to deal with last year's data breach that exposed 2.4 million current and former MCCCD students' and employees' personal information (h/t SC Magazine).

When the breach was first acknowledged in December of 2013, the board anticipated spending up to $7 million in total. Prior to last week's decision by the board, a total of $17.1 million in expenses had been authorized, covering consulting, repairs, lawyers, notification and credit monitoring.

Two class action lawsuits have been filed in the last month regarding the breach, one seeking $2,500 for each plaintiff, and the other seeking unspecific damages. Lee Combs, the district's staff attorney, told the Republic that those lawsuits led to the need for $300,000 for records management. "We have a massive amount of records, and the discovery rules require that we preserve them in the original format whether they are relevant to the case or not so the plaintiffs can have access," Combs said.

According to the Republic, about $2.25 million of the funds are coming from a 2004 bond measure for capital needs and technology, and the remainder is coming from the district's operating budget. Combs says the district is waiting to hear whether MCCCD's insurance will cover any of the expenses.