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Raft of Privacy Suits Ignites Abuse Concerns over NJ Law

Law360 Pulse

A recent flood of lawsuits against a host of businesses over their online databases has raised questions that a New Jersey law designed to shield the personal information of judges and other officials is being abused by a relatively new data privacy outfit to make money.


Atlas is able to bring these suits because of an amendment made to the law in 2023.

That amendment allows those covered by Daniel's Law to assign their right to sue to a third party. Atlas said in its complaints that thousands of law enforcement officers, judges and their families have assigned their claims to Atlas.

But data privacy attorneys call that change to the law unusual and seem unable to explain why it was made.

Many data privacy laws let consumers assign their rights to third parties, but usually only to allow those parties to request that the consumers' information be deleted on their behalf, according to Philip N. Yannella, co-chair of the privacy, security and data protection group at Blank Rome LLP.

"The concept of assigning rights under privacy laws is not a new one. What is new is I'm not aware of any privacy law that allows plaintiffs to assign their claims to a third party," Yannella said. "That is unique."

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"Raft of Privacy Suits Ignites Abuse Concerns over NJ Law," by Jack Karp was published in Law360 Pulse on April 25, 2024.