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For the past 6 years, our blog has been primarily dedicated to providing professional liability insurance coverage news and analysis for the internet, tech and media industries.  We hope you enjoy reading our blog entries and we welcome your story ideas.  Our blog is updated with new entries about twice a month so please bookmark our site or just use our RSS feed.

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Entries in Claim Examples (72)

TJX Update: Learning From The Mistakes

The results of a joint investigation into the TJX security breach by Canada’s National Privacy Commissioner and Alberta’s Privacy Commissioner was released on September 24, 2007.  In it, the Commissioners found that TJX collected unnecessary personal information and also retained personal information for an unnecessarily long period of time.  Further, the Commissioners identified TJX’s failure to expedite a transition from what it knew was a weak encryption protocol to a stronger one as a security flaw.  Finally, the report also suggests that TJX did not monitor its systems “vigorously” enough thereby unnecessarily delaying the discovery of the breach.  While TJX does dispute some of the Commissioners’ findings, the concepts regarding the use of personal information, the necessity of implementing the most-up-to-date and secure encryption protocol and the need to monitor systems for breaches are all viable risk management tips.

You may recall, the last time we reported on TJX, the costs of the breach were estimated at $8 million.  Current reports now indicate the total costs of the TJX breach are $256 Million. 

Posted on Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 09:40AM by Registered CommenterMarcia Sutton in , , | CommentsPost a Comment

Software & Information Industry Association Expanding Its Reach

You had better think twice before you send a copy of the great article you just read to your entire staff; you could end up entangled in copyright infringement litigation. A California-based market research company recently settled complaints brought against it by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). The company had been internally distributing a variety of third-party owned content including market research reports, news articles and other information. Many companies engage in the same practice and as a result, it doesn’t occur to most people to obtain permission or a license to use the content unless it is going to be used externally. Even if the disseminator of the content knew that technically they should obtain permission prior to use, it’s only being distributed internally, so who’s going to know? That position works fairly well, until one of your employees blows the whistle, which is exactly what happened in this case.

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Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007 at 09:03AM by Registered CommenterJohn Whall in , , , , , | CommentsPost a Comment

New Worries in Ecommerce

The increasing prevalence of ecommerce, social networks and other technological advances offer unprecedented convenience and access to shopping, paying your bills and interacting with the world. With these benefits, there are dangers in putting personally identifiable information on the internet that go beyond the obvious stolen credit card or social security numbers. Responsible online businesses have lots of tools to help set their customers at ease but there is not always a perfect understanding between the parties regarding what they can and will do with private information.

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Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 09:25AM by Registered CommenterJeromy Shrum in , , , | CommentsPost a Comment

Putting Revised Contract Terms on Website Deemed Insufficient Notice to Customer

Attorneys, risk managers and consultants advise their clients to use various techniques in contracts to manage the clients’ liability and contractual exposures. Underwriters of online liability risks scour an applicant’s website, contracts and the application for insurance to evaluate how aware an applicant is of potential risks and how adept it is at managing or eliminating risks. Now a case decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit provides guidance that may cause some of those parties to review how they use contracts and websites in the risk management process. The issue before the court was simple: whether a service provider may change the terms of its service contract by merely posting a revised contract on its website. The answer was a unanimous “no.”

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Posted on Friday, August 3, 2007 at 03:09PM by Registered CommenterT.R. Franklin in , | CommentsPost a Comment

Anonymous Posters and Defamation Exposure

Message boards, blog comments and chat rooms create a whole new arena for a company to generate good public relations and maybe even spread a marketing message. It’s also a whole new opportunity for defamation. While there’s really no such thing as an anonymous press release, ad campaign or direct mail piece, anonymous posts made to industry blogs and message boards are commonplace.

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Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at 07:42AM by Registered CommenterMarcia Sutton in , , | CommentsPost a Comment

Climbing Claim Costs at TJX Underscore Need for Privacy and Security Coverages

The security breach at TJX Companies indeed appears to be headed toward being one of the worst in history – and not just from a risk exposure standpoint. It serves as an example of how many problems a computer hacking incident can cause.

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Malicious Prosecution: A Rare but Powerful Counter-Weapon for a Prevailing Defendant

Malicious prosecution is a cause of action often coveted by insureds and other defendants who feel they have been wrongfully sued, but it is a claim that is rarely pursued successfully. A case out of Montana directed at a blue-chip law firm and an heir to the Morton Salt fortune, however, has to this point turned out to be one of those rare cases. The judgment in the case stands at more than $11 million and the Montana Supreme Court has gone on record saying one of the nation’s leading law firms engaged in “legal thuggery” in the underlying case that spawned the malicious prosecution action.

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Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 at 10:37AM by Registered CommenterT.R. Franklin in , | CommentsPost a Comment