Data Breach Lawsuits

what to do if victim of data breach - smartphone with security shield laying on laptop

Data breaches occur where information is stolen or taken from a system without the knowledge or authorization of the system’s user. Data breach victims may be an individual, a group of individuals, or even whole corporations. As the world of technology grows, data breach incidents have become increasingly more common.

California Data Breach Notification Laws
Under California law, businesses and agencies are required to notify any resident whose personal information was acquired, or reasonably believed to have been acquired, by an unauthorized person. (California Civil Code § 1798.29(a) and § 1798.82(a))

If a business, agency, or person fails to comply with the required notification laws of security breaches, they will be held liable. Failing to comply with the terms of the California statutes can be fined $2,500 per violation, for a total of up to $500,000.

What kind of data can be breached?

All information stored on devices or on databases can be breached, compromised, or stolen. Some of the largest data breaches in history have included the breach of medical records, social media records, and bank accounts.

Anthem (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) Breach
More than 40 million patient medical records had been breached in 2021. However, one of the largest healthcare data breaches occurred in 2015. More than 78 million Anthem members had their Social Security numbers, home addresses, and dates of birth stolen. Anthem recently settled their case with the attorney general for $9.5 million in 2020.

Facebook Breach
In March 2021, 533 million Facebook user records were posted onto an online hacking forum. Users had their names, phone numbers, locations, biographical information, and email addresses released onto the forum. This breach remains the largest social media data breach today. The Federal Trade Commission imposed a $5 billion penalty to Facebook, a historic amount.

Equifax Breach
Almost half of America was potentially affected by the Equifax data breach in 2o17. The Equifax breach compromised the names, dates of birth, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and credit card numbers of millions of Americans. Due to the sensitive financial information compromised, Equifax was fined $700 million for the breach.

How do I protect my business from potential breaches?

The best way to protect your business and customers from a potential data breach is to strengthen your IT security. In addition, educating employees on how to handle sensitive data and how to avoid potential leaks can reduce the risks.

If you are worried about a potential breach, talking to an experienced attorney will help you understand the potential consequences or solutions that may apply to your case. Hariri Law Group has worked with individuals and businesses on data breach cases to help parties find their resolutions.

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