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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Vermont Joins National Settlement with Carnival Cruise Over 2019 Data Breach

June 28, 2022

Carnival Required to Change Its Security and Breach Practices

The Attorney General’s Office announced a 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. As part of the settlement, Carnival must strengthen its email security and breach response practices. The company must also pay the states a total of $1.25 million, of which Vermont will receive $10,000.

In March 2020, Carnival publicly reported a data breach in which an unauthorized actor gained access to certain Carnival employee email 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. The investigation revealed that 163 Vermonters were impacted by the breach.

Breach notifications sent to attorneys’ 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.

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.

Vermont is joined in today’s settlement by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Ohio, and North Carolina, and joined by Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, 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, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

A copy of the settlement agreement is available here.

 

Contact: Lauren Jandl, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171

Last modified: June 28, 2022