Invasion of Privacy Attorney and Ohio Data Breach Lawyer reviews class action security breach lawsuits and represents plaintiffs nationwide
Security and data breaches are an issue plaguing dozens of companies that store customers’ personal information online. Several high-profile security breach incidents have drawn security negligence into question, and attorneys and victims are holding the responsible parties accountable for leaked financial information, credit scores, credit card numbers, bank information and other confidential information.
Many consumers in the U.S. still fail to understand the huge scope of personal data collected on them, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, although almost everyone thinks it is important to protect personal data and to hold companies accountable when data is sold and misused.
Companies like Facebook, Yahoo, Exactis, Target, Anthem, and others have suffered data breaches in the last couple years and have spawned dozens of class action data breach lawsuits that seek to compensate affected users and customers for the damage and stress it has caused in their lives.
Security breach settlements have recovered millions of dollars for victims. If you have been a victim of a security breach, contact an Ohio data breach lawyer to discuss the possible legal recourse and litigation process.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio data breach lawyer and Privacy Attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in class action security breach lawsuits.
Big Tech Data Brokers
Data brokers collect information from a variety of sources, and in the age of digital marketing, personal data is very valuable. But these data brokers and the companies that distribute your personal data may be operating unlawfully. Victims of data theft and have their personal information sold may have a claim, and can seek to file data privacy lawsuits to recover compensation.
By buying data or collecting public records, data storage companies and data brokers can compile a very good profile on individuals. Data can indicate buying patterns, personal interests, personality attributes, physical traits and more.
Internet browser cookies and Web site trackers are used in target marketing. If you were wondering how advertisers know so much about you, be aware that data analytics and marketing algorithms have gotten quite advanced.
Data brokers make it difficult for everyone to protect themselves, but they are required to provide some information about opt-out systems in some cases. If consumers wish to keep their data out of third-party data collectors’ hands, they may even have to contact each one directly with a request.
There are also “primary” data holders like Big Tech companies such as Amazon, Facebook, or Google. These companies collect a huge amount of detailed personal data from each of their users.
Data collection companies are numerous, and they serve a variety of purposes. They may use information to locate people or to mitigate risks of a loan. The data economy is a massive industry at the moment, and not enough is done to rein in the way they manage personal data. As a result, personal data is often stolen or sold to those who wish to use that information illegally.
Data Breach Lawsuits
Regardless of the reason for a security breach—whether a person or group gains access to confidential information for financial or political gain—victims have the right to file a claim against a company for failing to protect their information, and can lead to a class action lawsuit.
Companies must exercise reasonable care in protecting customers’ information, and if they do not, they can be held liable for the damages that result, including identity theft.
Security breach victims and Ohio data breach lawyer teams representing plaintiffs have been able to settle multi-million dollar recoveries. If you or a loved one suffered financial losses from a data breach, contact an Ohio data breach lawyer for a free consultation.
In the face of online security threats, Ohio enacted the Data Protection Act, which provides an incentive-based program for businesses to strengthen their existing cybersecurity systems and practices.
Because a business can be ruined financially and by reputation, they are able to protect themselves by taking greater online security measures. But many companies choose not to protect consumer privacy, and thus face class action lawsuits.
Biggest Data Breaches & Class Action Settlements
Companies big and small today face the reality that it is likely that their network will be breached. As a result, they must do all they can to prevent attacks. If they fail to protect private information, class action data breach lawsuits can be filed.
In June 2017, America’s largest insurance company, Anthem, agreed to a $115 million settlement after a security breach allegedly compromised the private data of 80 million customers. Healthcare organizations are reporting a steep rise in data breaches, and the situation could worsen.
- Capital One announced that 100 million credit card accounts were hacked and personal information was stolen. Attorneys are investigating whether bank account info, social security numbers and other sensitive information was taken.
- Yahoo has been a target in class action data breach lawsuits after tens of millions of user accounts were compromised due to ineffective site security. The company paid more than $117 million to settle the case.
- Equifax admitted that 43 million American accounts were hacked and leaked information such as names, birth dates, social security numbers and phone numbers. Some consumers also had their tax IDs exposed. Equifax paid a settlement of over $700 million.
- In March 2016, Home Depot paid $19.5 million to consumers in a data breach settlement. Home Depot agreed to pay $25 million to banks and credit card companies in the following year.
- Facebook announced in 2018 that a data breach leaked information from over 50 million users. Class action lawsuits are pending. The social media company also faces various privacy lawsuits and settled one recently involving facial recognition technology for over $500 million.
- Marriott announced up to 500 million customer accounts compromised in a data breach in 2018.
- Fiat Chrysler is facing a class action lawsuit over a security breach involving its Jeep vehicles and a software issue.
Healthcare Security Breach Lawsuits
The rise of healthcare hacks have left millions of patients vulnerable to stolen info and identity theft. The vast majority of hospitals and health insurance companies have reported data breaches, and although it is unknown what can be done with medical data, patient’s financial data and personal information can easily be used in nefarious ways.
With the rise of electronic medical data storage in place of old paper files, there are more and more instances of healthcare related security breach incidents and subsequent class action lawsuits.
America’s largest insurance company, Anthem, agreed to a $115 million settlement after a data breach allegedly compromised 80 million customers.
Hotel Data Breach Lawsuits
Hotels are prime targets in data theft attacks because they compile so much personal information, including names, email addresses, phone numbers, passport numbers, photo IDs, and credit card information. Hotel data breach incidents can be devastating to affected victims.
Marriott was a good example of a hotel chain that allegedly failed to meet consumer security expectations when the company was hacked and customer information for 500 million guests was stolen.
The Marriott Starwood system breach is similar to other large security breaches at large American health insurers and government agencies. Those investigating the data breach are unaware what hackers are doing with the information, though privacy advocates are investigating Marriott’s cyber security and known vulnerabilities.
When private firms collect personal data from customers, they have a duty to protect it, and should delicate information leak, they may be held liable for negligent security.
Names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, e-mail addresses, passport numbers and credit card details of hotel customers are all at risk. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was aware of the data breach and is monitoring the situation. The Marriott data breach affects customers who made reservations from 2014 to September 2018 at the following hotels:
- W Hotels
- Four Points
- Le Méridien
- Design Hotels
- Luxury Collection
Wawa Data Breach Lawsuit
A class-action lawsuit against Wawa follows a huge data breach that potentially exposed the credit and debit information of customers of all 850 Wawa locations. The company said the malware began hacking its system in March 2019 and was only first detected in December. The data breach exposed credit and debit card numbers and cardholder names.
Attorneys say Wawa disregarded the rights of consumers and plaintiffs by negligently failing to take adequate measures to ensure its data systems and customers’ information were protected. The company also failed to disclose to its customers the fact that it did not have adequate computer systems and security practices in place.
Most data breaches occur when an unauthorized person gains access to confidential information for personal or political gain, frequently leading to identity theft and financial losses. Victims of data breaches may qualify for a lawsuit, and may contact class action data breach lawyers with questions.
Yahoo Data Breach Lawsuits
In 2016, Yahoo announced that around 1 billion users’ information had been hacked. This compromised personal information included names, email addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, and passwords. The class action lawsuit alleged that Yahoo negligently handled the information with weak security systems, despite assurances from the company of strong privacy protection.
Yahoo also suffered previous data breaches from 2012 to 2016. If you had a Yahoo account anytime between 2012 and 2016, the class action data breach settlement may affect you. The total amount of the settlement fund Yahoo has established is $117.5 million.
Auto Security Class Action Lawsuits
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to hear Fiat Chrysler’s class action lawsuit appeal over allegations that Jeep vehicles are vulnerable to hacking. This is one of the first legal cases involving automotive cybersecurity risks, in a growing data privacy litigation legal area.
The recent court decision opens litigation and consumer protection rights regarding potential cybersecurity issues and hacking attacks on individuals and businesses. The connectivity of system software connects much of an individual’s life—from a cell phone to vehicle to any other device holding software and personal information.
Car owners in the U.S. sued Fiat Chrysler and Harman International Industries, which manufactures the Uconnect infotainment system in Ram, Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler trucks. According to lawyers connected with the lawsuit, cyber security systems have been breached by criminals looking for access to the infotainment system.
Plaintiffs in the Jeep case allege that Fiat and Harman were aware of the security issues as soon as 2011, noting that cyber security experts revealed the defect. In 2015 an article in Wired showed researchers hacking a Jeep Cherokee while it was driving, garnering much attention in the cybersecurity community.
Jeep owners and consumers say that had the security defects been known, they would not have purchased the Jeep vehicles. Fiat Chrysler and Harman have denied these allegations. There are more than 200,000 class members involved in the class action lawsuit. Plaintiffs are seeking $50,000 per car impacted.
Restaurant Data Breach Lawsuits
Restaurants have been hacked in recent years, and most have admitted they were not prepared and do not have the ability to ward off such data theft attacks.
Arby’s, Checkers and many others have been the subject or attacks and subsequent class action data privacy lawsuits. Consumers and restaurant customers have a right to use their credit card and assume their personal information is protected by a company.
Other large data breach settlements include:
- Target: $10 million
- Sony (PlayStation data breach): $15 million
- Ashley Madison: $11.6 million
- Sony (employee security breach): $8 million
- Stanford University Hospital: $4.1 million
Cybersecurity & Data Protection
Right now, billions of consumer devices and products connect to the Internet, with personal data vulnerable, and the connected “Internet of Things” is surely a growing consumer phenomenon. Connected devices may be convenient, but they also create a number of product liability concerns.
Some proposed class-action lawsuits are already accusing some equipment makers of spying on users and selling data without consumers’ permission. Many devices are not merely hardware but connected to software that distributes information even when consumers are unaware.
Lawyers say companies are collecting information not covered by their privacy policies. Private information can range from musical interests to medical conditions. Compromised information may lead to identity theft.
Many devices and products remain with software “unpatched,” and compromised. After software is hacked, are the device makers held legally responsible? It is possible because security attacks are not hard to predict.
Connected devices may be poorly designed because of a lack of cybersecurity. At the moment, consumers don’t have sufficient information to make purchasing decisions based on a connected device maker’s security, or lack of cybersecurity. This gives rise to privacy and product liability legal questions.
The security of devices and the Internet of Things has just started to face direct litigation, and product-linked cybersecurity class-action lawsuits are on the rise. Some devices may be violating deceptive business practices, as well as laws against the collection of data and personal information. Some devices may include:
- Medical Devices
- Facial Recognition Technology
- Smart TVs
- Wireless headphones
- Home alarms
Can I File a Data Breach Lawsuit?
When companies fail to exercise reasonable care in protecting customers’ personal information, affected consumers may take legal action and file a class action data breach lawsuit.
Data breach lawsuits can not only net plaintiffs millions of dollars in damages, but can also force companies to ensure consumer privacy for the future generation.
An experienced class action attorney can determine if you are eligible to file a data breach lawsuit or join a class of plaintiffs. A lawyer can assist in determining the following:
- Did the company fail to adopt security safeguards that would have prevented a data breach?
- Did the company notify customers as soon as it learned of the data breach?
- Did the company provide a complete list of all individuals affected by the data breach?
- Did the company provide security in line with industry standards?
If you have been a victim or a data or security breach, and have questions about the legal remedies available, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, an Ohio data breach lawyer, and he will answer critical questions regarding cybersecurity.