34% of data breach class action lawsuits targeted health industry in 2016

There were 76 class action data breach lawsuits in 2016, up 7 percent from the year prior, according to a Bryan Cave report.

For its 2017 Data Breach Litigation Report, the St. Louis-based international law firm analyzed data breach lawsuits in 2016 at both the state and federal levels.

Here are four survey insights.

1. Only 3.3 percent of publicly reported data breaches led to class action litigation. This percentage was less than prior years, in which an average of 4 percent to 5 percent of publicly reported breaches led to class action lawsuits.

2. The medical industry was disproportionately targeted by the plaintiffs' bar. However, although 70 percent of publicly reported breaches related to the medical industry, it only comprised 34 percent of lawsuits.

3. Nearly all cases (95 percent) alleged negligence led to the data breach.

4. Eighty-nine percent of lawsuits involved a breach of sensitive data, which includes information like Social Security numbers or medical treatment information.

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