For the past few years, federal courts have grappled with whether a plaintiff whose personal information has been hacked has experienced the type of “injury” that gives the plaintiff standing to sue. The debate has hinged mostly on courts’ perceptions of the likelihood that the hack will result in identity theft. For some courts, it’s obvious that the breach of someone’s personal information materially increases the likelihood that the person will be the victim of identity theft. As the Seventh Circuit put it in the Neiman Marcus case: “Why else would hackers break into a . . . database and steal consumers’ private information? Presumably, the purpose of the hack is, sooner or later, to make fraudulent charges or assume those consumers’ identities.” Other courts have been more skeptical.
But maybe the Equifax hack will change the terms of the debate. That hack, of course, disclosed the personal information of roughly 143 million Americans and a handful of Britons. If you’re one of them, your information is floating around the dark web. There’s no unscrambling the egg. So for…
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