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Technology and Tort Law

The wave of technology has created a multitude of opportunities and conveniences for society today. From ordering lunch on your smart phone to mobile banking, our world has never been more connected or readily available.

Unfortunately that same technology has created a multitude of cybersecurity problems. In 2014, data breaches were reported by Home Depot, Jimmy John’s, JP Morgan Chase, Kmart, Michaels, UPS and Sony just to name a few.

Online commerce has become the preferred shopping method of many consumers, and as a result sensitive data is being exchanged across the internet. Names, date of births, addresses and credit card numbers, all of which can be hacked and stolen.

The government has yet to formulate a solid defense strategy for cyber crime. While officials try to construct a plan, many tort attorneys are suggesting making data breaches a tort liability. Tort liability would allow the government to regulate cybersecurity without taking heat for restrictions that impose on the digital economy.

Mandatory data breach notices have led to multiple data breach class actions. A company’s inability to securely hold on to and keep private its consumers is a serious concern. This is especially true of the bigger corporations whose profits indicate there were finances available to increase current security systems within their company.

So far, many of the cybersecurity class actions have resulted in freely negotiated settlements. Tort attorneys believe that until they can increase the market prices for data breach liabilities, corporations will have little urgency to address their security vulnerabilities.

As it stands now, the market price for data breach liabilities ranges from $2.50 to $0.50 per person. What does this mean for the cybersecurity strategies of bigger corporations? There is little incentive for corporate cybersecurity budgets to change, and as a result, your personal information remain vulnerable to theft.

Tort law no longer applies to defective products or medications. In today’s world, tort law now applies to the practices of companies who are responsible for your information. And from the looks of it, the only way companies will be forced to increase their attention to cybersecurity is through the use of class action suits for data breaches.