Victims of data breaches are often unable to find a remedy without sustaining actual monetary damages. That could change if the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) pursues a path toward “informational injury,” which could impose a deemed harm to data breach subjects. In December 2017, the FTC held a workshop on informational injury to “examine more thoroughly the range of injuries that can occur from privacy and data security incidents,” according to Acting FTC Chair Ohlhausen.

The FTC identified the workshop goals to include gaining a better way to identify different types of injury to consumers and businesses, as well as understanding how consumers and businesses would consider such injuries and risks vis-à-vis collecting, storing, using and sharing information.

While consumer advocates would hail the institution of informational injury as a basis to compensate victims and perhaps encourage more robust security measures by organizations, such a step also raises practical matters, such as how to measure an informational injury.

Access Acting FTC Chair Olhausen’s full remarks from the December 12, 2017 workshop here.

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