Sunday, March 2, 2008

Fighting data exposure in small claims court

StorefrontBacktalk's Eric Schuman writes about Theodore Karantsalis's pursuit of Wells Fargo and Sprint Nextel for exposing his personally identifiable information. Interestingly, in this case Karansalis went after both companies in small claims court, claiming that class action rarely saw any real return to the consumer, and that it was often not in a reasonable timeframe.

Schuman asks an interesting question - what happens to large corporations if consumers begin to sidestep the normal process of litigation and take their claims to small claims court. Often, large companies will settle rather than fight, as their costs are higher than the small payouts requested. Karatansalis requested three times the cost of a PGP license ($597) in his claim, and received it. If this became a standard practice, corporations would have to defend themselves more actively, or establish precedent against such claims - something that would be difficult to do if consumers can show real costs associated with the loss of their data.

The original StorefrontBacktalk article can be found here.

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