Class Action by Venmo, Coinbase, and Cash App Users Against Plaid Inc. Alleges Theft of Sensitive Consumer Banking Data and Privacy Violations

May 8, 2020

Herrera Purdy LLP has filed a new class action lawsuit in the Northern District of California against financial technology company Plaid Inc., alleging that Plaid stole login information and transactional and other private banking data belonging to tens of millions of consumers.

Plaid’s software is embedded in hundreds of popular fintech apps, including Venmo, Coinbase, Square’s Cash App, and Stripe. In January 2020, Visa agreed to purchase Plaid for $5.3 billion.

The lawsuit alleges that Plaid violates consumer privacy and computer data protection laws by using its software to collect consumers’ private bank login credentials, then using the credentials to access consumers’ bank accounts and take a vast amount of highly sensitive banking information, all without consumers’ knowledge or consent.

As the complaint notes, Plaid’s software is designed to spoof the look and feel of banks’ own login sites so that consumers will be fooled into handing their login information directly to Plaid. The lawsuit also alleges that, once Plaid uses a consumer’s login information to establish a connection with that consumer’s bank, it downloads all available data—including years’ worth of transaction history—for every account the consumer has connected to that bank (such as checking, savings, credit card, and brokerage accounts), regardless of whether the data in any of the accounts bears any relationship to the app for which the consumer signed up.

The lawsuit includes claims for violations of federal and state computer privacy and consumer protection laws and seeks actual and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief to force Plaid to stop its misconduct and purge all purloined consumer data in its possession.

Contact a Data Privacy Attorney at Herrera Purdy

If you linked a mobile or web-based fintech app to your bank account and are concerned about the security and privacy of your personal banking information, contact one of our lawyers using the form at the bottom of this page. We will review and discuss your potential claim with no obligation and at no cost to you.

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The case is Cottle, et al. v. Plaid Inc., case no. 4:20-cv-03056 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

 

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