Data privacy class action lawsuits address compromises in the security, transfer, collection and storage of personally identifiable information. The most common data privacy class actions are brought by a group of consumers against a company for collecting their data without their consent, failing to properly secure their data or selling their data to a third-party without the consumers’ consent.
For example; after a massive 2016 data breach, Uber was sued for allegedly failing to protect its user and driver’s data; in 2017 Facebook was sued for allegedly collecting user biometric data without user consent; and, in 2017 Reader’s Digest paid $8.2 million to settle a suit alleging it sold subscriber data.
Like other types of class action suits, the class is represented by one or more members, called a class representative, also known as the lead plaintiff. The class representative and their counsel prosecutes the case on behalf of the group. While the process of filing of a data privacy class action lawsuit is similar to most other class actions, discovery in such suits is often complex given the technical nature of the suit and the alleged violations.