Class-action lawsuit says Zynga displayed ‘deceptive and unconscionable conduct’ after 2019 data breach 

Customers affected by a data breach at the end of 2019 have filed a class-action lawsuit against mobile developer Zynga. 

As reported by Polygon, last September players of Words With Friends and Draw Something were advised to change their passwords after security website Have I Been Pwned listed the data breach as the 10th largest user information hacks of all time. It was later revealed hackers obtained personal account information including names, Facebook IDs, email addresses, and even passwords. 

Although the company insists financial information was not compromised, two claimants have now filed a complaint in California, USA, maintaining Zynga failed to “reasonably safeguard” their information and “intentionally and unconscionably” delayed telling its millions of players that their personal information had been accessed by an “unauthorised third party”.

“[…]Zynga effectively hid the fact it had suffered a breach,” the filing alleges. “Only those users who happened to visit Zynga’s website on their own volition, read about the breach in the news, or had signed up to receive email data breach notifications from independent third parties that monitor data breaches were made aware of the breach.”

The lawsuit continues by stating Zynga’s millions of players are at “imminent risk of fraud” for years to come “as a result of the data breach and Zynga’s deceptive and unconscionable conduct”.

Zynga has yet to respond to press requests for comment.

Zynga class action lawsuit by Polygondotcom on Scribd

Zynga released its financial results for its fourth quarter and full-year ended December 31, 2019, reporting a strong Q4 performance that “capped off an outstanding year as [it] delivered the highest annual revenue and bookings in Zynga history”.

In Q4 2019, the company saw revenue skyrocket to $404 million – up 63 per cent year-over-year – and bookings of $433m, up 62 per cent YoY. Across 2019, Zynga delivered “a record topline performance” with revenue of $1.32 billion, up 46 per cent YoY, and total bookings also increased, rising by 61 per cent YoY to of $1.56 billion. The results were “well ahead of guidance across all key financial measures”.

“Our results were well ahead of guidance across all key financial measures driven by strength in live services, coupled with remarkably strong advertising seasonality and yields,” the company said at the time. “In particular, Words With Friends and Empires & Puzzles achieved record revenue and bookings, while Merge Magic! had a successful first full quarter and is on track to become our newest forever franchise.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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