Miami consumers may remember that in Dec. 2013, retail giant Target experienced a data breach that compromised the personal information of millions of customers across the country. Subsequently, a lawsuit was filed by more than 100 people alleging breach of contract, among other misdeeds. Recently, Target settled the lawsuit for $10 million.
During three weeks of the December holiday shopping season, hackers stole information from somewhere in the neighborhood of 110 million people. Payment information for nearly 40 million credit and debit cards was also taken. Customers that took part in the lawsuit contended that Target should have known — or did know — about the breach in their system, but failed to warn customers. Many claimed they would not have used their credit or debit cards at the company’s stores if that information was publicized. Consume rs whose information was stolen and used will have to prove their losses in order to receive a portion of the settlement.
Even as the settlement was being negotiated, Target was in court attempting to have the case dismissed. In fact, the judge dismissed several of the lawsuit’s allegations. As it turns out, it is difficult to maintain a lawsuit against a company for a data breach since it is a challenge to prove that any damages can be attributed to the company.
Most Miami companies are conscious of the need for cyber security and do what they can to prevent their systems from being hacked. However, there may be only so much that companies can do to protect their data and the information of their customers. If a company’s data is breached, in addition to bringing in computer specialists to resolve the issue, it may be beneficial to contact an attorney to assess any potential liability issues – including a possible breach of contract — that could arise due to the loss of sensitive information. Getting ahead of the problem could prevent further damage and financial losses for the company and its customers.