On Thursday, June 28, 2018, DiCello Levitt filed a national class action lawsuit against Florida-based data company, Exactis, in United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The case concerns one of the largest and most damaging data breaches – in both scale and information disseminated – in United States history.
Exactis is a leading compiler and aggregator of premium business and consumer data, boasting over 3.5 billion records of businesses and consumers alike. These records contain people’s phone numbers, home and email addresses, personal interests and preferences, ages and genders of their children, and other extremely detailed, personal information—exceeding as many as 400 data points on each business and consumer.
Exactis failed to employ even the most basic forms of security, and left this highly sensitive information of some 230 million consumers and 110 million businesses on a public server—bare, unprotected, and available to anyone to download. Even worse, Exactis did not employ any form of encryption to protect this data.
Despite numerous high-profile data breaches at companies such as Home Depot, Target, and Neiman Marcus, last year’s high-profile hack of credit bureau Equifax that exposed the personal data of hundreds of millions of Americans, and the ever-evolving hack of Facebook’s user data and information, Defendant failed to implement basic security measures such as a firewall, encryption, and other standard data management practices to prevent unauthorized access to this information
DiCello Levitt co-founder, Adam Levitt, recognized as a pioneer in privacy cases, stressed the severity of this type of data breach. “The data compromised by Exactis’ breach is even more severe than financial information such as credit card or bank account numbers. Exactis’ database included email and postal addresses, whether a person had a pet, whether the person is a smoker, and a number of other personal interests. This type of information is frequently used by hackers to steal identities and break into your accounts.”
DL&C partner, Amy Keller, who is Co-Lead Counsel in the ongoing Equifax data breach litigation, seeking classwide relief for that data breach which affected nearly 150 million Americans, stressed that the recent proliferation in data breaches makes attorneys’ work all the more important. “Time and time again in massive data breaches such as this, plaintiffs’ lawyers supplement the important work of government-led investigations to secure meaningful relief for consumers. More and more companies are monetizing our personal information without our consent. It’s important that these companies know that they will be held accountable for their carelessness through lawsuits like ours.”
Adam and Amy are working closely with attorneys from Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP and Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group to ensure that Exactis is held accountable for this egregious abuse of consumer data privacy.