Sears Data Breach Draws Lawsuit - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

05:11 PM
Connect Directly

Sears Data Breach Draws Lawsuit

A New Jersey resident has filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against the retailer charging breach of contract and a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act.

Following revelations that Sears' site exposed customer purchase data to any online visitor who asked about it, a New Jersey resident has filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against the retailer.

In a complaint filed on Friday in Cook County, Ill., where Sears has its headquarters, plaintiff Christine Desantis alleges that the company's exposure of customer data represents a breach of contract and a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act.

The $5 million sought is to cover payments to affected consumers and attorneys, and the cost of injunctive relief; no individual is seeking more than $75,000, according to the legal filing.

The crux of the case is that Sears "failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that [consumers'] private information was secure," according to the complaint.

"Implicit in Sears's contracts is a good faith and fair dealing provision, requiring Sears to disclose whether and to what extent it makes publicly available customers' personal information and to take reasonable steps to insure that the private information of [customers] is not easily accessible by the public," the complaint states. "Not only does Sears fail to make such disclosures, it makes contrary disclosures on its Web site, listing the specific circumstances -- none of which are germane to the instant case -- under which Sears does share customer information with others."

The complaint also alleges that Sears' failure to promptly and prominently disclose the security breach on its Web site constitutes a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act, a claim that shows how much disclosure laws like California's SB 1386 have changed the expectations of corporations following a data breach.

A Sears spokesperson said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll