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Optometry Group to Pay $3.5M Settlement in Data Breach Case

61K victims may be eligible for compensation.

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The National Board of Examiners in Optometry plans to allot $3.25 million in a cash settlement fund to compensate approximately 61,000 victims of an alleged data breach that hit the profession nearly three years ago, the American Optometric Association reports.

The class action settlement also outlines steps NBEO will take to upgrade its data security practices. Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar of Maryland gave preliminary approval to the settlement on March 7.

In 2016, large numbers of optometry students and optometrists across the country began reporting identity theft, particularly stolen Social Security numbers and other personal information used to apply for Chase Amazon Visa credit cards, AOA explains. Following the breach, optometrists filed actions against NBEO claiming the targeted information was available and maintained by the organization as a requirement for certifying exams and credentialing.

NBEO still disputes that it was the source of the breach.

The court agreed to deem eligible anyone whose personal information was stored in NEBO’s systems as of Nov. 15, 2018, or anyone receiving a legal notice stating they are a class member. A final approval hearing is set for July 12.

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The $3.25 million will be used to provide benefits for:

  • Reimbursement for documented, traceable out-of-pocket losses (up to $7,500).
  • Reimbursement for time spent remedying issues related to the alleged breach (up to $1,000).
  • Free credit monitoring services.
  • Free identity restoration services.

NBEO agreed to pay additional administrative costs, fees and service awards related to the settlement.

Also, NBEO “plans to retain an independent security firm to conduct a written risk assessment of the board’s data security, encrypt exam-takers’ personal information, and discontinue storage of nine-digit SSNs in its electronic databases, per a legal notice,” AOA reports.

Read more at AOA

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Optical Retailer to Add 25 Stores, Expand Into 4 New States

It’s entering the Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Wyoming markets.

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DALLAS –Dallas-based optical retailer Eyemart Express announced that it plans to have 25 new locations operating by the end up 2019.

The company currently owns and operates 206 stores in 38 states, according to a press release. It’s expanding into four additional states: Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.

“The drive behind our aggressive growth strategy is to make prescription eyewear accessible and convenient for more communities,” said Michael Bender, Eyemart Express CEO. “Seeing clearly should not be a burden or an excessive expense for any family. We work hard to make all our locations an affordable one-stop shop for all eyewear needs.”

Eyemart Express carries more than 2,000 frames for prescription glasses and sunglasses, ranging from exclusive private label brands to well-known brands such as Converse, Longchamp, Calvin Klein, Ray-Ban and Nike. Stores also feature onsite labs so 90 percent of glasses can be ordered and received on the same day.

“Eyemart Express’ growth helps entire communities as well. Job creation is an important factor in determining new store locations — we examine where Eyemart Express can make the biggest contribution to local economies with career opportunities,” said Bender.

More than 300 jobs will be created for hourly wage earners as a result of the optical retailer’s expansion.

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Warby Parker Rolls Out 5 Extended Sizes

They range from ‘extra narrow’ to ‘extra wide.’

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Eyewear  retailer Warby Parker is launching an “extended sizes” collection to help more consumers benefit from its products.

It features “five proportional sizes, ranging from ‘extra narrow’ to ‘extra wide’ and even including low bridge options,” the Observer reports.

Twenty-seven styles are available in seven best-selling frames.

To leverage augmented reality, the company utilized Apple’s ARKit and TrueDepth camera to create software that evaluates proper fit, according to the Observer.

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Warby Parker co-founder Dave Gilboa was quoted saying, “We started getting feedback from our customers saying, ‘I love these styles, but you don’t have anything that fits me’ or ‘you only offer one frame that fits me.’”

Chain Store Age reports that Warby Parker spent two years developing the new sizes.

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Vision Health Firm Buys Italian Company Focused on Retinal Screening and Telehealth

Next Sight develops robotic and IT technologies to provide ophthalmic diagnostic solutions.

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Luneau Technology has acquired Next Sight, an Italian company specialized in retinal screening and telehealth.

This acquisition “brings to Luneau increased capabilities – covering both Back and Front of the eye – to propose a comprehensive eye exam, which is a key customer need” and it “supports and brings a set of experience and technology which will help to drive forward a focus on a range of telehealth solutions for Luneau Technology group,” according to a press release.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Paola Griggio, CEO of Next Sight, will continue to manage initiatives around retinal topics and will also take up a key leadership role as she is appointed vice president for telehealth at Luneau Technology.

Marc Abitbol, president and CEO Luneau Technology, said, “It is a great opportunity for Luneau Technology to expand our offer.

“We are very excited to enter the telehealth space and welcome Paola among our management team to lead this new capability for the group.”

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Luneau Technology produces devices aimed at ophthalmic, optometrists and optical professionals.

Next Sight develops robotic and IT technologies to provide ophthalmic diagnostic solutions. Next Sight produces Nexy, a device which allows retina screening through a platform to securely send patient data to remote locations.

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