JUN 22, 2022

Attorney General Alan Wilson announces South Carolina joins $1.25 million multistate settlement over 2019 Carnival Cruise Line data breach

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) - Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that South Carolina, along with the attorneys general of 45 other states, has obtained a $1.25 million multistate settlement with Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line stemming from a 2019 data breach that involved the personal information of approximately 180,000 Carnival employees and customers nationwide. South Carolina will receive $20,500.21 from the settlement.

In March 2020, Carnival publicly reported a data breach in which an unauthorized actor gained access to certain Carnival employee e-mail accounts. The breach included names, addresses, passport numbers, driver’s license numbers, payment card information, health information, and a relatively small number of Social Security Numbers. 2,259 South Carolinians were impacted and they have been notified.

Breach notifications sent to attorney general offices stated that Carnival first became aware of suspicious email activity in late May of 2019—approximately 10 months before Carnival reported the breach. A multistate investigation ensued, focusing on Carnival’s email security practices and compliance with state breach notification statutes.

“Unstructured” data breaches like the Carnival breach involve personal information stored via email and other disorganized platforms. Businesses lack visibility into this data, making breach notification more challenging—and consumer risk rises with delays.

“What happened in this case is a reminder that it could happen to any other business, so it’s important for businesses to take preventive measures to protect the private information of their customers,” Attorney General Wilson said. “They also need to follow regulations about notifying consumers promptly when there is a breach of private information.”

Under the settlement, Carnival has agreed to a series of provisions designed to strengthen its email security and breach response practices going forward. Those include:

• Implementation and maintenance of a breach response and notification plan;
• Email security training requirements for employees, including dedicated phishing exercises;
• Multi-factor authentication for remote email access;
• Password policies and procedures requiring the use of strong, complex passwords, password rotation, and secure password storage;
• Maintenance of enhanced behavior analytics tools to log and monitor potential security events on the company’s network; and
• Consistent with past data breach settlements, undergoing an independent information security assessment.

Connecticut, Florida, and Washington co-led the investigation, assisted by Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Ohio, and North Carolina, and joined by Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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