Data Privacy

Over the last several years, there has been a monumental shift in how regulators, companies and consumers think about data privacy and security. Companies face an untenable and growing number of state privacy, cybersecurity and data breach laws that offer significant enforcement authority to federal and state regulators while opening the door for opportunistic plaintiffs’ lawyers to seek large settlements, even when there is no apparent harmRead More...

State privacy laws impose different (and sometimes contradictory) standards, including what types of notice and consent are required for what types of information, and when and how victims of data breaches must notify their customers. Customers may also not be required to demonstrate monetary or property losses in order to seek damages for an alleged violation. Even a technical violation of certain laws could be grounds for a private action.

A standard federal data privacy law would provide much-needed certainty for businesses and protect them from abusive and overlapping enforcement. The Federal Trade Commission should be the sole authority of data privacy enforcement, and should work to prevent and punish behavior that actually harms consumers. Finally, a federally enforced privacy framework should not create a private right of action, which would only add to the tremendous lawsuit cost Americans already pay, while enriching lawyers and providing very little value for consumers.

Emerging technologies also suffer from outdated or poorly-conceived laws and regulations. This leaves the door open for plaintiffs’ lawyers attempting to create regulation through litigation, bogging down the economy with lawsuits. Instead, lawmakers and regulators should implement rational policy changes that strike the right balance between innovation and consumer protection, so that we have a legal environment that supports—not stifles—the creative potential of the American economy.


Suggested Resources

  • ILR Briefly COVID-19 Series: Liability Overview

    ILR Briefly COVID-19 Series: Liability Overview

    April 23, 2020

    As Americans and businesses of all sizes are working together to get through the COVID-19 health crisis, plaintiffs' lawyers have already begun filing COVID-19-related lawsuits. Limiting litigation abuse is essential to making available the tools and resources needed to combat the virus, and ultimately to spurring economic recovery once the immediate health crisis has been resolved. This edition of ILR Briefly explores the current and anticipated types of litigation coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

  • Mapping a Privacy Path: Liability and Enforcement Recommendations for States

    Mapping a Privacy Path: Liability and Enforcement Recommendations for States

    December 12, 2019

    When it comes to data privacy, the only way to effectively protect consumers' personal information while providing certainty and clarity to businesses is to create a single, preemptive, federal data privacy standard. However, until and unless Congress can provide such a standard, state lawmakers are obliged to step in and create state-level protections. Recognizing this reality, ILR's research offers state legislators a guide to limit unintended consequences of state privacy and security laws by preventing unnecessary litigation. Read More

All Results for Data Privacy

  1. Of Lawsuits and Data Security

    March 15, 2017 | News and Blog

    Technology is a powerful thing. But it can also be very dangerous. It's advancing at a speed that gives businesses, small and large, a plethora of new opportunities to innovate and grow. However, it often outpaces the law.... Read More

  2. In the News Today - February 1, 2017

    February 01, 2017 | News and Blog

    According to a newly released Pew Research Center study "many Americans lack faith in various public and private institutions to protect their personal information from bad actors." Out of 1,040 adults surveyed, 64 percent reported they have personally experienced a major data breach.... Read More

  3. New FTC Chair Will Shift Data Security Focus to Actual Harm

    January 27, 2017 | News and Blog

    Maureen Ohlhausen was appointed acting chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this week. Law360 writes that she is likely to steer the FTC "away from privacy and consumer protection issues where consumer harm isn't crystal clear, and could finally answer businesses' long-standing calls for clarity on what exactly constitutes ‘reasonable' data security efforts."... Read More

  4. In the News Today - January 11, 2017

    January 11, 2017 | News and Blog

    Tune in at 9:30 am EST as U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue delivers his annual State of American Business address to outline the top challenges facing the business community and the Chamber's policy priorities for 2017. Click here to watch live.... Read More

  5. Zipcar or Zeppelin: The Direction of Data Privacy Liability - Part II

    October 27, 2016 | Video | Watch

  6. Zipcar or Zeppelin: The Direction of Data Privacy Liability - Part I

    October 27, 2016 | Video | Watch

  7. Opening Remarks: Lisa A. Rickard

    October 27, 2016 | Video | Watch

  8. In the News Today - June 27, 2016

    June 27, 2016 | News and Blog

    "Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz must be wincing" over a class action suit against the company for under-filling lattes, "but perhaps he has new appreciation for those who fight America's tort-lawyer thievery." ... Read More

  9. In the News Today -- May 6, 2016

    May 06, 2016 | News and Blog

    Class action plaintiffs' firm Edelson PC announced that it is bringing a federal class action against an unnamed Chicago law firm over allegations of data security regarding client information.... Read More

  10. U.S. Senate Committee Passes Data Privacy Bill

    January 29, 2016 | News and Blog

    The U.S. Senate yesterday passed a new data privacy bill that "would give some Europeans the right to sue in the United States over allegations of electronic data privacy violations," reports Reuters.... Read More