A data security breach occurs when someone without authorization gains access to information. They do this for personal, financial, or political gain. As our society becomes more and more dependent on technology, greater numbers of people are affected when breaches occur. In many cases, those affected by breaches are compensated for any risk or loss they face through a data security breach lawsuit.
In modern times, data breaches affect hundreds of millions of people. It’s nearly impossible to live in the country today without having at least some of your information stored or transmitted electronically, and any time this is the case you’re at risk for being a victim of a data breach. When data is stolen it leads to identity theft and usually affects you financially.
Security breach lawsuits sometimes provide compensation for:
- Cost of replacing credit and debit cards
- Fees for obtaining credit reports and credit insurance
- Fees charged by credit monitoring companies
- Expenses associated with correcting information that was added to your credit report as a result of the breach
- Any other out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the breach
Companies are responsible for doing everything reasonable to prevent data security breaches. When they fail to take appropriate action they could potentially face legal action by those who were affected.
Some of the most notable data breaches that resulted in settlements in recent years include:
- Anthem for $115 million
- Target for $28.5 million split between customers and states
- Home Depot for $19.5 million settlement for 50 million cardholders
- Sony PlayStation network breach for $15 million
- Ashley Madison for $12.8 million split between consumers, states, and the FTC
- Sony employees for $8 million
- Stanford University Hospital and Clinics for $4.1 million
- AvMed Inc. for $3.1 million
- Vendini for $3 million
- Schnuck Markets for $2.1 million
If you or a loved one has suffered because of a data breach, you could be eligible for compensation. You should contact a data breach attorney for more information.
How to Tell If You Should Speak to a Data Security Breach Lawyer
Understanding if you were affected by a security breach can be difficult. The easiest way to tell is if your financial well-being has been affected, but often it’s better to assume you’ve been breached and take action to protect yourself before any damage is done.
How can you tell if you’ve been breached?
- Pay attention to information sent to you by retailers about a potential breach
- Follow the news and current events for information about data breaches
- Conduct a search using your email address at a breach identification site
- Check your credit reports from all three reporting bureaus at least annually for suspicious activity
- Pay attention to unusual occurrences related to your identity or finances, including having your tax return filed before you actually send your information to the IRS, receiving credit cards in the mail that you never applied for, and receiving past due or collections notices that are not linked to any of your accounts
A Data Security Breach Attorney Can Tell You If You Quality for a Lawsuit
An attorney might be able to help you determine if you are eligible to participate in a data breach lawsuit.
Chances are you’ll receive notice of a class action data security breach lawsuit and your eligibility will have already been determined if your security was violated. However, if you hear of a lawsuit linked to a retailer where you shop or you suspect a problem might have occurred and the extent of it has not yet been determined, you can speak to a data security breach attorney for more information.
A data security breach attorney might:
- Determine if there was a failure to administer safeguards to prevent data breaches from occurring, such as encrypting personal information
- Determine if the company properly notified customers as soon as possible following the breach
- Obtain a list of everyone affected by the affected
- Review the company’s policies and customer agreements and determine if the company was in adherence
- Compare the company’s policies to industry standards
If you or a loved one were affected by a data security breach or you have questions about any breaches that have taken place, contact us for more information.