The US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana recently dismissed a data breach class action against eBay Inc. for lack of standing because the named plaintiff did not allege an actual injury, only the possibility of future injury.
eBay is an e-commerce website with more than 120 million active users worldwide. On May 21, 2014, eBay notified its users that its files containing personal user information were accessed by unknown hackers in February and March 2014. The plaintiff, Collin Green, filed a consumer privacy class action against eBay on behalf of all users whose personal information had been accessed because of the data breach.
Drawing on a recent Supreme Court decision, Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, the district court dismissed the action, holding that the plaintiff lacked standing to sue because he had not suffered an injury-in-fact. Instead, the plaintiff was relying on a speculative possibility of future problems arising from the breach. The district court held that in cases where the complaint alleges personal information was accessed, but actual identity theft was not alleged, the plaintiff lacks standing because the feared theft is not certainly impending. The district court also noted that an increased risk of identity theft was insufficient to grant standing.
Green v. eBay Inc., Civil Action No. 14-1688 (E.D. La. May 4, 2015)