1,700 file group lawsuit against Benesse over data theft


More than 1,700 people filed a group lawsuit on Thursday against major education service provider Benesse Corp. over last year’s massive theft of customer data. They are demanding ¥55,000 in damages for each plaintiff.

The plaintiffs in the suit, filed at the Tokyo District Court, are Benesse customers who joined an association of data theft victims that was formed by lawyers in the capital last month. The lawyers will consider filing additional suits if more people join the association in the future.

The Benesse group said last September that its investigative team found some 28.95 million customers were affected by the incident and offered cash coupons worth ¥500 to each victim.

The plaintiffs said they are upset that their family members’ birth dates, addresses and telephone numbers were leaked to third parties by a computer subcontractor who had been hired to work on its database.

Separately from the group lawsuit, 13 people filed a ¥1 million damages suit with the same court against Benesse last year.