by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
breach, harm, privacy

the gap

Once Again, Court Says If There's No Real Harm, There's No Legal Recourse For Privacy Breach

from the why-doesn't-that-apply-elsewhere? dept

Way back in 2006, we noted a series of cases where people had brought lawsuits over claimed "privacy" breaches, involving lost or leaked data, where the courts repeatedly ruled that if there was no evidence that the leaked data was used for nefarious purposes, there was no case. Odd that this applies to things like privacy, but when you see a similar situation with copyright, no one ever has to show any actual harm. Either way, it looks like courts are continuing to follow this particular line of thought, as a lawsuit against Gap for losing private data has been rejected under the same line of thinking. This also almost certainly means that all those class action lawsuits against Google for possibly collecting some WiFi data, are completely dead in the water. In those cases, the plaintiffs don't even show any evidence that their data was collected, let alone give any proof of harm.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2010 @ 7:45am

    Re: The Gap & others like them

    "And there is no reason for the leak to be addressed by those in a position to fix it"

    Exactly, these court decisions are bad ones because they give corporations less incentive to implement security measures ensuring that critical private personal data isn't leaked.

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