As the best informed Massachusetts technology lawyers already know, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and Google have announced a $22.5 million dollar settlement (the largest civil penalty ever) to address claims of unfair and deceptive trade practices in violating its privacy statement for Google Buzz – a social networking application for Gmail users. Click Here for Bureau of Consumer Protection Business Center post with full history.
The FTC / Google settlement underscores both the growing regulatory exposure in the area of cyber liability and the need to take privacy policies and practices seriously. Any company that does not have a plan in place dealing with cyber liability and compliance issues for data breach is taking a huge risk. Further, many companies do not take advantage of the available insurance products to reduce the risk of uninsured losses for cyber liability including failing to comply with privacy statements in user agreements for social media applications.
Both large and small companies need to take steps now to address compliance issues for privacy and data breach laws. The best practices to avoid cyber liability can be identified and implemented as part of a consultation with a qualified cyber liability attorney.