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October 26, 2016

New Survey Finds Voters Overwhelmingly Support a Single National Standard for Data Breach Notification

WASHINGTON, D.C. — 86 percent of voters favor a single national standard for companies to notify customers of a data breach rather than the current patchwork of state laws, according to a new national survey released today at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s (ILR) 17th Annual Legal Reform Summit. The survey, which examined the public’s views on the problem of data breaches and the growth of litigation in this area, also revealed that three in four Americans do not support lawsuits against companies who are breached if they maintain strong cyber-security protections.

The survey release kicked off the Summit, titled The Litigation Machine, which will feature a keynote address by former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney. The event brings together business and legal experts to examine current lawsuit trends such as increasing class action litigation, data privacy liability, third party litigation financing, and over-enforcement.

“Litigation today is largely becoming a profit machine that seems less about the fair resolution of disputes, and more about generating revenue for lawyers,” said ILR President Lisa A. Rickard. “Ads online, and on television, systematically harvest often-faceless clients who are fed into the litigation machine which turns them into money which disproportionately goes to lawyers.”

ILR also released research titled Big Bucks and Local Lawyers: The Increasing Use of Contingency Fee Lawyers by Local Governments. The paper examines the trend of municipal and local government officials hiring private lawyers to pursue cases on their behalf under contingency fee contracts. It further discusses how giving private lawyers a financial interest in the outcome of a case undercuts the public interest.

As part of the Summit, ILR also will honor key individuals and organizations working to improve the litigation environment across the globe with its Annual Legal Reform Awards. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Bruce Josten, who will retire at the end of the year after 42 years of service at the Chamber, will receive the Legal Reform Champion Award. More information about the awards can be found here.

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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