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Can You Sue Facebook for the Data Breach?

Can You Sue Facebook for the Data Breach?

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Can You Sue Facebook for the Data Breach?

With the ubiquity of digital platforms, many people fail to read all the terms of service with which they are presented online. Often, app and website users click “accept” without fully reading all the fine print. 

In most cases, there are no negative consequences to doing so. Still, sometimes this can result in negative consequences for the person.  

For instance, suppose your data is breached from a digital platform. When this happens, you may be able to pursue a legal claim against the negligent party. 

A huge data breach involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica became public knowledge in 2018. Following this enormous breach, many people had their sensitive data leaked. 

Can you sue Facebook for data breach damages? Read on to find out. 

No matter what the circumstances, it is critical to speak with a skilled tort attorney following a data breach. How can you sue Facebook for data breach consequences? Consult with an attorney at the firm of Morgan & Morgan to explore your legal options. 

Our accomplished legal team will fight diligently to secure justice in your data breach case. You should not have to deal with the negative outcomes alone.  

The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan will happily provide you with a no-cost legal consultation to discuss the facts of your case. Fill out the contact form on our website to arrange a free case evaluation.

Understanding the Facebook Data Breach

Cambridge Analytica is a data-mining company. In 2013, Cambridge Analytica obtained large amounts of Facebook’s information through another company, known as “Global Science Research.” 

Global Science Research (GSR) secured large amounts of personal information about Facebook’s users through the use of a personality test app. This app was promoted as a tool for academic research.  

After GSR obtained the data, they provided it to Cambridge Analytica. When users downloaded the personality test app, they were required to accept the terms of service. 

These terms of service stated that the owners of the app could “edit, copy, disseminate, publish, transfer, append or merge with other databases, sell, license (by whatever means and on whatever terms) and archive [users’] contribution and data.” 

If you digitally accepted these terms and conditions, can you sue Facebook for data breach harm? Possibly. If you have experienced a leak of sensitive information, consult with a knowledgeable data breach lawyer.  

Since the Facebook data breach, three California residents filed a suit on behalf of 87 million Facebook users. They claim that the terms and conditions of Facebook guarantee that users own their own content. In the Cambridge Analytica case, this may not have been true. 

Also, claimants have alleged that the leaked information was utilized to target Facebook users with advertisements for the 2016 U.S. elections. The team at Morgan & Morgan understands what it takes to fight for those who have been harmed by a loss of sensitive information.  

When you have been affected by a data breach, speak with a trusted tort lawyer. You may be owed financial recovery for the harm you have sustained.

Understanding Liability in Data Breach Cases

One of the most important issues in any digital data breach case is legal liability. What rights do Facebook users have? Can you sue Facebook for data breaches? 

In situations that are similar, there are few legal options for consumers. Unfortunately, the concept of data security and digital privacy is not clearly established in tort law. 

In some cases, claimants must argue that certain special circumstances require the company to owe them a specific duty. For instance, plaintiffs may claim that the platform owed them a fiduciary duty. 

In 2017, an Equifax data breach resulted in a legal claim. The plaintiffs alleged that the corporation owed them a duty to protect their financial information. The outcome of this case is still in question. 

However, common law typically does not view data breaches as an unqualified harm. Claimants usually need to pair their data breach claims with additional allegations, such as identity theft.

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  • Can You Sue Facebook for Data Breaches?

    In many instances, you may be able to pursue compensation in the aftermath of a Facebook data breach. This is especially true if any of the following sensitive information was leaked: 

    • Credit reports
    • Social Security numbers
    • Credit card numbers
    • Bank account numbers
    • Addresses 
    • Phone numbers
    • And more 

    Usually, the claimant will need to prove that the company in question acted negligently. The legal concept of negligence involves the claimant proving the following four factors: 

    • The defendant owed them a duty of care
    • The defendant breached their duty of care
    • The breach of duty was the cause of the harm
    • The claimant sustained actual harm 

    The difficulty in many data breach cases is proving that “harm” took place. The courts do not consider the breach of data alone as harm, necessarily. 

    One common type of harm that might result from a data breach is the loss of money. For instance, suppose an online platform released your bank account information. 

    If this data breach resulted in the illegal use of your banking information and you lost money, you might be able to pursue compensation. So, can you sue Facebook for data breaches? It will depend on the specific circumstance of the case.

    Reasonable Cyber Security

    In some cases, the question of reasonable cyber security will be relevant. Some claimants can seek to show that the company that experienced the breach did not implement appropriate cyber security measures. 

    If a data breach was preventable, the company may be found negligent in some cases. Companies have the option of hiring cyber security professionals to protect their users’ data. 

    When a company fails to do so, they make breaches much more likely. Some judges and juries will consider the strength of cyber security when considering data breach cases.

    Reasonable Plaintiff Actions

    It is also important that the plaintiff take certain actions in the wake of a digital data breach. This shows that the victim took the proper steps to minimize the damage of the loss of their information.  

    For instance, after a data breach, the victim should: 

    • Cancel any affected credit cards
    • Contact the banks about affected accounts
    • Change leaked passwords for any apps or accounts
    • And more 

    It is crucial to take these actions to stop any further financial or personal harm. This will also show that the claimant took the data breach seriously. 

    If you fail to properly respond to a leak of information, the overseeing judge may reduce the amount of compensation for which you are eligible. Plaintiffs who do not adjust to a data breach could experience more needless financial harm.

    Determining Who is Liable

    In most data breach cases, the party or parties who initially stole the information will be unknown. While the Facebook data leak was fully understood, many such cases are not.  

    That is why it is critical to contact a skilled data breach lawyer to file a legal claim. The company that was charged with protecting sensitive information may be held liable for the damage resulting from the breach. 

    A knowledgeable tort lawyer will review the facts of your case and work to prove that the company in question was negligent. If you or someone you love was harmed because of a Facebook data breach, do not hesitate. 

    Reach out to the trusted legal team at Morgan & Morgan to pursue the financial compensation that you rightfully deserve.

  • Common Damages in Data Breach Cases

    Depending on the consequences of the data breach, victims may be able to pursue compensation for many types of harm. Consumer protection lawyers can review your circumstances to determine the value of your case. 

    Victims of data leaks can pursue compensation for the following types of financial harm: 

    • The expense of replacing debit and credit cards
    • Costs from changing leaked information
    • Service fees for protecting financial information after the breach
    • Credit insurance and credit report costs
    • Out-of-pocket costs that resulted from the data breach 

    Those who have experienced these types of harms may also seek financial recovery for their emotional damages. For instance, the invasion of privacy resulting from data breaches may result in: 

    • Emotional trauma and distress
    • Anxiety, panic, and depression
    • Damage to the victim’s reputation
    • Damage to the victim’s business prospects
    • Damage to the victim’s credit score
    • And more 

    To determine the appropriate amount of compensation in your data breach case, speak with a knowledgeable attorney. The firm of Morgan & Morgan is home to many legal professionals with experience in these cases. 

    Do not settle for less than the best. When you need legal representation, speak with a tort attorney at Morgan & Morgan.

  • How Are Consumer Protection Attorneys Compensated? Can I Afford One?

    At Morgan & Morgan, our compassionate legal experts understand that data breach victims face many significant financial challenges. Because of this, our firm operates on a contingency fee structure.  

    When you hire one of our lawyers, we will agree to a specific portion of the financial recovery from your data breach claim. After we successfully settle or win your case, that percentage will cover the attorneys’ fees. 

    In other words, you will not pay anything unless we get you the money you deserve. When you hire Morgan & Morgan, we do not get paid unless you do.

  • Should I Contact a Law Firm With Plenty of Resources?

    Yes! Data breach cases often involve taking on large digital corporations. These companies have many legal resources at their disposal. 

    Make sure to hire an attorney or firm with the resources to pursue your claim as far as required. The seasoned legal specialists at Morgan & Morgan will take your case all the way to the litigation phase, if necessary.

  • Let Morgan & Morgan Fight for You

    The team at Morgan & Morgan has the skills, resources, and experience to fight effectively for you. If you or someone you love has been harmed by a data breach, do not wait to pursue a legal claim. 

    When you contact our firm, we will review the facts of your case and build a powerful legal claim for you. To arrange a no-cost consultation with no obligation to hire our firm, complete the contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website today!

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Last updated on May 11, 2023

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