Another lawsuit has been filed against Target. The reason for these lawsuits is because the retailer had a substantial security breach during the holiday season, jeopardizing the sensitive data of tens of millions of customers. Because this lawsuit is taking place in Washington state, the plaintiff is accusing Target of violating the Washington Consumer Protection Act and of negligence. Theft of payment card data, email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses represents a serious breach. If you run a business, it’s worth getting in touch with a Seattle business lawyer to make sure you prevent the same from happening to your business.
The Major Issues with This Case
One concern with the Target case is whether the retailer was adequately prepared to prevent a data breach. Negligence is applicable if the company didn’t have reasonable safeguards and precautions in place. On top of that, the plaintiffs are accusing Target of waiting too long to confirm the theft of such data, several days after the company already knew that it had occurred. In fact, as her Seattle business attorney attested, the most recent plaintiff never actually received word from Target about the data theft. She only heard about it from her bank. This is problematic because it doesn’t give victims of the data theft the valuable time they need to tackle the problem before it gets worse.
How Target Has Responded
On the plus side, Target has offered its customers some concessions. These customers have received a year of credit tracking from the retailing giant, but some are still wary that this isn’t enough time, as fake identities can be created from the stolen data at any point in the coming years. It’s always been difficult to determine how much blame can be placed on a company for a cyber security problem. According to Dr. Barbara Endicott-Poposvky, the current director of the Center of Information Assurance and Cyber Security at University of Washington, most companies aren’t even aware of the potential risks for a security breach.
What to Take Away from the Situation
As a business owner, you need to remember that you’re responsible for protecting your customers’ data. It’s possible for businesses of any size or industry to become the target of cyber thieves and hackers, so you should take every reasonable precaution. Talk to a business litigation attorney in Seattle for more information about cyber security and how to protect yourself from liability if it becomes an issue. You can learn a thing or two about what you should and shouldn’t do by analyzing Target’s response to their breach and following the developments in these Seattle lawsuits.