Privacy Law Blog

Tag Archives: identity exposure

Michaels Stores Still PINned beneath Payment Card Skimming Lawsuit

In May 2011, Michaels Stores reported that "skimmers" using modified PIN pad devices in eighty Michaels stores across twenty states had gained unauthorized access to customers' debit and credit card information. Lawsuits soon splattered on the specialty arts and crafts retailer, alleging a gallery of claims under the Stored Communications Act ("SCA"), the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act ("ICFA"), and for negligence, negligence per se, and breach of implied contract. Late last month, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Kocoras dismissed some claims, but others survived. The opinion presents a broad-brush survey of potential data security breach claims, with some fine detail and local color particular to this variety of criminal data security breach. … Continue Reading

Proskauer Litigators Notch Another Victory for The Bank of New York Mellon in “Identity Exposure” Lawsuit

On June 25, 2010, Judge Richard Berman of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment to The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. in Hammond v. The Bank of New York Mellon Corp., dismissing in its entirety a putative class action lawsuit arising from the loss of backup tapes containing personal information in the spring of 2008. Judge Berman's dismissal represents yet another in a long, and still growing, line of cases standing for the proposition that without more, the mere exposure of personal information is not an adequate basis for a lawsuit. … Continue Reading

Geez Ruiz: 9th Circuit (Probably) Ends Long-standing Data Breach Litigation Against Gap, Inc. and Others

On May 28, 2010, in an unpublished decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the California district court's dismissal of a class action lawsuit against retailer Gap, Inc. because, among other things, the plaintiff failed to show that the loss of his personal information harmed him in a legally cognizable way. The Ninth Circuit's decision echoes those issued in every "identity exposure" lawsuit to date: an increased risk of identity theft does not a lawsuit make! … Continue Reading

Northern District of Illinois Foreshadows Tough Row[e] to Hoe for Identity Exposure Plaintiff, but Denies Motion to Dismiss

On January 5, 2010, Judge William Hibbler of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois became the latest federal district judge to share his views about whether an increased risk of future harm based on the inadvertent exposure of personal information is a legally cognizable harm. In Rowe v. UniCare Life & Health Insurance Co., No. 1:09-cv-2286 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 5, 2010), Judge Hibbler . . . hinted that the plaintiff's claims for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") and the Illinois Insurance Information and Privacy Act, as well as his common law claims of invasion of privacy, negligence and breach of implied contract, may ultimately be dismissed if the plaintiff failed to show a basis for damages other than his alleged increased risk of future harm, such as identity theft. … Continue Reading

Proskauer Litigation Team Helps Secure Dismissal of Speculative Identity Exposure Claims Against BNY Mellon

Where the only harm alleged is mere "speculation as to a possible risk of injury," a claim cannot survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, according to a District of Connecticut decision issued on August 31, 2009. McLoughlin v. People's United Bank, Inc., and Bank of New York Mellon, Inc., No. 3:08-cv-00944-VLB (D. Conn. Aug. 31, 2009), thus follows a long and growing line of cases which simply hold that where there is no actual harm, there can be no case. … Continue Reading
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