Negligence Liability for Breaches of Data Security

Banking and Finance Law Review, Forthcoming

39 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2007

See all articles by Jennifer A. Chandler

Jennifer A. Chandler

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section


Due to the concern over identity fraud, data security issues are now attracting growing attention from legislators, legal scholars, and an increasing number of litigants. This article addresses the possibility of using liability in negligence as a means to deter unreasonably careless data security practices as well as to offer compensation to those harmed by data security breaches. Part I of the article discusses the need for civil liability in order to deter careless data security practices. Part II reviews U.S. cases involving negligence liability for breaches of data security, identifying the key problems facing plaintiffs. Part III addresses additional legal problems that may face plaintiffs in the Canadian context, and Part IV draws on case law and regulatory decisions to suggest some conclusions about what are "reasonable" security measures.

Keywords: identity theft, identity fraud, data security, negligence, data protection, privacy

Suggested Citation

Chandler, Jennifer A., Negligence Liability for Breaches of Data Security. Banking and Finance Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Jennifer A. Chandler (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
613-562-5800 ext. 3286 (Phone)
613-562-5124 (Fax)

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