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Emerging technologies also suffer from outdated or poorly-conceived laws and regulations.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. No Harm, No Foul? The Supreme Court Determines the Future of Class Action Lawsuits over Federal Statutes

    November 10, 2015 | News and Blog

    If you haven't suffered any harm, can you still sue? That is the central question behind a class action lawsuit argued last week before the U.S. Supreme Court.... Read More

  2. In the News Today - October 27, 2015

    October 27, 2015 | News and Blog

    A BloombergView editorial today calls for reining in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's in-house administrative courts: "Some have likened the SEC's quasi-judicial system to a kangaroo court. Even if it isn't, it has the potential to become one. It should be restrained before it does too much damage." (BloombergView)... Read More

  3. A Perilous Patchwork: Data Privacy and Civil Liability in the Era of the Data Breach

    October 27, 2015 | Research

    This paper provides an overview of the patchwork of civil liability that U.S. companies face over data breaches, including actions by federal regulators, state attorneys general and private plaintiffs.... Read More

  4. ILR Summit Series: Is data privacy the next lawsuit megatrend?

    October 26, 2015 | News and Blog

    Data privacy is a hot topic. With popular companies like Target and Uber facing class action lawsuits over data breaches and new hacks occurring every single day, customers and businesses alike are concerned about data privacy – and the lawsuits that come with data breaches.... Read More

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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