“If the invasion of privacy constitutes a legal injuria, the elements for demanding redress exist, since already the value of mental suffering, caused by an act wrongful in itself, is recognized as a basis for compensation.” —Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis, “The Right to Privacy,” 4 Harv. L. Rev. 193, 213 (1890).

The barrage of data breaches and other individual privacy violations impacting everyday Americans continues unabated. Hardly a week goes by where I or a member of my family fail to receive a notification from a company disclosing that its computer systems were compromised and that our private and sometimes immutable personal information—provided to the company based on express promises of adequate, “industry standard” data security—now lies in the hands of criminals due to the company’s reckless handling of that information. Often, it seems that we as ordinary American consumers are powerless in preventing these breaches from occurring.

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