Failure to Prepare: Who's Liable in a Data Processing Disaster?

32 Pages Posted: 21 May 2009 Last revised: 26 Jun 2009

See all articles by Dan L. Burk

Dan L. Burk

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Laurence H. Winer

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: 1989

Abstract

What duties do corporate executives owe their corporations, shareholders, depositors, creditors, or customers regarding computer disaster recovery? This paper examines whether failure to take adequate precautions for computer disaster recovery constitutes negligence not only in the everyday sense, but in the legal sense as well. Such legal negligence might leave corporations, directors, and officers liable for certain damages suffered due to inaccessibility or loss of records and data processing capacity during a computer disaster. Part I of this paper discusses the disaster recovery options available to corporations. Part II outlines corporate liability under several statutes requiring computer disaster preparedness. Part III discusses the common law duties of corporations, directors, and officers as applied to this topic. Finally, Part IV suggests a theory of tort liability that might be applied to losses in computer disaster, and indicates areas to which this theory might extend.

Keywords: Computer disaster recovery, corporations, liability

Suggested Citation

Burk, Dan L. and Winer, Laurence H., Failure to Prepare: Who's Liable in a Data Processing Disaster? (1989). Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal, Vol. 5, p. 19, 1989. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1407653

Dan L. Burk

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

4500 Berkeley Place
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
949-824-9325 (Phone)

Laurence H. Winer (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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