Phil Yannella, Ballard Spahr litigation partner and Practice Leader of Ballard’s Privacy & Data Security Group, recently authored a treatise on data breach and privacy litigation.  The book, Cyber Litigation: Data Brach, Data Privacy & Digital Rights, is published by Thomson Reuters and is available now for purchase.  The publication of CyberLitigation comes at an important moment as the U.S. is in the midst of a huge surge in data breaches, particularly ransomware attacks.  In 2020, U.S. companies publicly reported 3,950 data breaches, according to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report − a number that likely understates the total number of breaches, as many breaches are not reported.  Despite renewed focus by the U.S. government on stopping hackers, and widespread efforts by U.S. companies to harden their security through encryption, multi-factor authentication, and shifting to cloud-based applications, the pace of data breaches has not slowed down in 2021.

As breaches have increased, so too has litigation.  At the current pace, over 1200 data breach or privacy lawsuits, most of them class actions, will be filed this year.  Much of the new litigation is driven by statutes, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), and state wiretap laws that provide for statutory damages.

Ballard Privacy & Data Security Partners Kim Phan and Greg Szewczyk are contributing authors.

In addition to data privacy and data breach litigation, this book addresses other kinds of emerging cyber claims such as website accessibility claims, webscraping claims, disputes under the Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standards, and cyber-coverage disputes.  The common link among these kinds of cyber-litigation is that they all involve the collection, access, sharing, protection, or use of online information.  The book is available for purchase here.