Apr 25, 2018

Yahoo, AOL forcing users into arbitration for disputes

Oath's new terms of service forcing users to give up their class action lawsuit rights. Screenshot: Yahoo.com

Verizon's Oath unit, which includes Yahoo, AOL and other media properties, is making a change that requires users to give up their right to be part of class action lawsuits. All disputes will have to be handled through arbitration, according to its revised terms of service.

Why it matters: Yahoo, as you'll remember, has had some data breach issues in the past. Litigating such matters as an individual consumer, even through arbitration, is impractical.

"Hopefully, disputes will never be an issue, but in the case of one, this allows a third-party arbitrator to help us resolve them," Oath says in a summary page explaining the move. "We’ve also added a class action waiver. These provisions are an important part of our relationship with you, so please read them carefully."

A Yahoo representative was not immediately available to explain the rationale for the new policy.

Why it's changing: The new dispute policy is part of broader terms of service changes going into effect immediately for new users and as of May 25 for existing ones.

  • While lots of companies are making changes ahead of that date to comply with a new European data protection law known as GDPR, the arbitration clause is specific for U.S. users.

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 7 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Health

Big video game conference delayed amid coronavirus concerns

Photo: GDC

Next month's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco became the latest tech event to be cancelled or postponed amid growing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: A growing number of events are being scrapped, including Mobile World Congress and Facebook's F8 developer conference. Some, like the giant SXSW event in Austin, insist they are moving forward.