News from Maine

Yesterday, the Portland Press Herald reported how a federal judge has decided to look at the question of whether or not the Hannaford Brothers supermarker is liable for damages from the data breach that they suffered between December 7, 2007 and March 10, 2008.

This breach disclosed the personal information ofabout 4 million people and resulted in about 1,800 fraudulent charges to credit cards, none of which were passed on to consumers. This case may set some interesting precedents about exactly how responsible merchants are for protecting credit card data and what the consequences are if that data is stolen.

Hannaford is claiming that damages are inappropriate because its customers didn't actually suffer any financial damage and that all they suffered was some slight inconvenience. If the judge rules that the lack of financial damages is enough to greatly limit Hannaford's liability, that could have a dramatic effect on how legal actions from future data breaches can proceed.  

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