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Navigating Data Breach Lawsuits: What You Need to Know

Navigating Data Breach Lawsuits: What You Need to Know

So, have you received a letter or email from a company advising you they believe some of your personal information which they possessed (such as social security number, date of birth, credit card number, driver’s license number, etc.) was or may have been accessed by someone either through the company being hacked or by the company erroneously disclosing your information?

What do you do now?

The company is probably telling you that you can enroll, at no cost to you, in some form of credit monitoring program, typically for one year, in light of the information getting out. Is this enough? Can you do anything else about your information being disclosed? What if the information which was disclosed is not impermissibly used until years after the disclosure?  These are all viable questions, and courts around the country are now having to address lawsuits regarding data breaches.

Data Breach Laws in the United States

The first hurdle in a data breach lawsuit is figuring out what kind of lawsuit you're going to bring. There are a number of different claims your attorney might choose to bring against the company responsible for the breach including:

1) negligence
2) breach of contract
3) breach of implied contract
4) invasion of privacy
5) breach of confidence, and
6) federal and state statutory causes of action.

Federal Statutory Claims for Data Breach

There are a number of state and federal statutes that regulate data breaches generally and outline what responsibilities vendors have concerning notifying the victims of a data breach that the breach occurred. Moreover, some of these statutes create a private cause of action that can be brought against any entity that violates one of these statutes.

Trends in Data Breaches in Florida - Statutory + Federal Claims - Florida Law Firm

Trends in Data Breaches in Florida

Florida data breach attorneys are taking notice of the massive number of data breaches and exposures occurring in the United States each year, and it is not surprising that data breach lawsuits are being filed as a result. According to Statia, there were an estimated 1,001 data breaches in 2020. At first glance, you might be tempted to say big deal, but the seriousness of this situation becomes clear when you hear just how much data can be accessed during a single breach. For example, in 2016, Yahoo announced that it had experienced one of the largest data breaches in recent memory with the data from an estimated 500 million users’ accounts being stolen.

Even more disturbing is the fact that in addition to the 1,001 data breaches that occurred in 2020, 155 million people had been affected by incidental data exposures during the same time period. As opposed to a data breach, which is where an individual accesses data without a company or person’s permission, a data exposure or incidental data breach is where a company or person accidentally reveals sensitive information due to poor cyber security. However, just because there has been a data breach or exposure doesn’t mean that you can sue the company responsible, and even if you can, data breach lawsuits are highly complex and fact-specific, which is why hiring an experienced data breach lawyer to represent you is so important.

Statutory Claims for Data Breach in Florida

Florida, like many other states, has outlawed “unfair or deceptive trade practices” after passing the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (“the Act” or “FUDTPA”). This legislation merely complements the federal version of the Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

Fla. Sta. § 501.204(1) of the FUDTPA prohibits businesses in Florida from engaging in “[u]nfair methods of competition, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce . . . .” In the context of a data breach lawsuit, your data breach attorney may argue that by giving you the impression that your personal data would be safely stored by the vendor and then failing to maintain adequate safeguards, the company responsible for your data breach engaged in “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.”

Laws similar to the FUDTPA have been enacted in many states, and many states have enacted notice laws concerning data breaches that can provide an alternate avenue for you to bring a data breach lawsuit. Additionally, there are federal laws such the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Health Insurance Portability Act (HIPPA) that can provide a basis for a federal statutory cause of action for victims of a data breach. But, given that all of these claims have their own unique requirements, you should always speak with an experienced Florida data breach attorney about your claim to see what legal options are available in your unique situation.

Top Data Breach Claims in Florida

Peck Law Firm Florida provides valuable insights into the top data breach claims in Florida, shedding light on the complexities and legal implications of such cases.

With a curated selection of posts, our team at Peck Law Firm Florida delves deep into the various aspects of data breaches, offering a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape surrounding these incidents. By providing in-depth analysis and guidance, we seek to ensure that those impacted by data breaches have access to the necessary resources and support to seek justice.

From negligence claims to breach of contract and invasion of privacy, our firm explores a range of potential legal avenues that individuals affected by data breaches can pursue.

By outlining the various statutory claims accessible on both state and federal levels, Florida-based data breach experts at Peck Law Firm provide the necessary information to effectively navigate the aftermath of a data breach.

Peck Is Ready When You Are

In a landscape where data breaches are becoming increasingly prevalent, Peck Law Firm Florida stands as a trusted ally for those seeking legal recourse. By offering a dedicated data breach attorney, the firm demonstrates its commitment to advocating for individuals whose personal information has been compromised.

Contact Peck Law Firm, P.A. today to explore your options and protect your rights in the aftermath of a data breach.

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