Damages Based On The Intrinsic Value Of Privacy?

Thu Jul 09 12:04:28 EDT 2015
By Dr. Garrett Glasgow and Sarah Butler

While privacy and data breach cases receive a great deal of media attention, these cases have not produced the large settlements that some observers have predicted. Plaintiffs have found it difficult to quantify harm beyond the direct financial losses, if any, suffered by consumers. Several recent cases have been dismissed for not meeting the standards for class certification because the plaintiffs could not demonstrate direct financial harm. Given this, plaintiffs are likely to consider new theories of harm and new means by which to estimate damages in privacy and data breach suits. This article, published in Law360, explores two possible approaches to estimating damages based on the intrinsic value of privacy, and conclude that these scientifically valid frameworks will become increasingly common in data sharing or data breach cases.