The Great Data Beach Standing Circuit Split

8 minute read | January.25.2019

Data breaches are back in the news in a big way. Over the past several weeks alone, prominent hotel chains, online platforms and retailers announced significant data breaches. Unsurprisingly, in the aftermath of these disclosures, consumers filed class actions alleging that the data breaches resulted from a failure to maintain reasonable security procedures.

The prompt filing of these lawsuits after disclosure of the breaches highlights a question litigants and courts have been grappling with for years: Does a data breach harm any particular consumer? The answer to this question is critical because in the absence of a specific statute providing for a data breach-related cause of action, a plaintiff ordinarily must prove that he or she has suffered harm in order to have standing to sue.

Originally published in Law360; reprinted with permission.