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Emerging technologies also suffer from outdated or poorly-conceived laws and regulations.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.

01/01/2019

Suggested Resources

Research
  • Ill-Suited: Private Rights of Action and Privacy Claims

    Ill-Suited: Private Rights of Action and Privacy Claims

    July 11, 2019

    Private rights of action (PRAs) are highly problematic: the plaintiffs' bar benefits significantly from America's lawsuit system, while consumers are left with little. PRAs are especially poor tools for addressing privacy issues, which are better left to regulators with relevant expertise and perspective to shape and balance penalties, deterrence, innovation, and consumer protection. Read More

  • Torts of the Future: Addressing the Liability and Regulatory Implications of Emerging Technologies

    Torts of the Future: Addressing the Liability and Regulatory Implications of Emerging Technologies

    March 29, 2017

    Torts of the Future examines the emerging technology sectors of autonomous vehicles, commercial drones, private space exploration, the "sharing economy," and the Internet of Things, and assesses the existing regulatory and litigation environments and future liability trends for each. The paper also draws from experience in each area to present guiding principles for addressing the liability and regulatory implications of emerging technologies. Read More

All Results for Data Privacy

  1. Lawsuit Ecosystem II: New Trends, Targets and Players

    December 04, 2014 | Research

    This report, authored by a distinguished group of practitioners, explores the evolving lawsuit "ecosystem." It considers how plaintiffs' lawyers generate litigation and significant developments that will spur more lawsuits or rein in excessive liability.... Read More

  2. Perils and Pitfalls: Social Media Law and the Workplace

    October 21, 2014 | Research

    This paper discusses why and how the increase in workplace social media use presents U.S. employers with considerable risks. The uncertain legal environment created by the inconsistency among state privacy statutes and recent ad hoc social media rulings by the NLRB make social media a high risk area for U.S. businesses.... Read More

  3. A Peek Inside The New Data Privacy Lawsuit Playbook

    November 12, 2013 | News and Blog

    When a blogger revealed that Facebook tracked users even after they had logged off from Facebook's service, the company thanked him and promised an immediate fix. But plaintiffs' attorneys socked the company with a class action seeking $15 billion in damages for alleged privacy violations, a number just shy of what Facebook raised in its IPO.... Read More

  4. New Research on Lawsuit Trends Headlines Chamber's Legal Reform Summit

    October 23, 2013 | Press Release

    ILR today identified asbestos, class-action, data privacy, and False Claims Act lawsuits among the leading lawsuit trends, in a paper released at its 14th Annual Legal Reform Summit. ... Read More

  5. The New Lawsuit Ecosystem: Trends, Targets and Players

    October 23, 2013 | Research

    Authored by a distinguished group of practitioners, this report examines the developing lawsuit "ecosystem" and areas of litigation of most concern to the business community.... Read More