Can I take legal action against a company for disclosing my SSN, etc. to third parties?

UPDATED: Sep 18, 2011

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Can I take legal action against a company for disclosing my SSN, etc. to third parties?

I did a commercial for a sporting goods store. When they sent me the check they included a list of all the other actors, including everyone’s SSN and other personal informatioin. The other actors received the same list. Even if I did have a case, would I be able to receive any monetary compensation for this?

Asked on September 18, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You have hit the issue on the head--whether its worth suing.

A negligent or careless disclosure of confidential, personal, etc. information--especially information which can so readily be used in identity theft--can easily give rise to liability, or an obligation to pay. However, the legal system only compensates for actual losses, costs, damages, etc. incurred, not for merely possible ones. Until and unless you suffer some actual loss as a result of this negligent disclosure, there is no compensation you can recover, and therefore nothing to sue for. (Arguably, you could try to sue to get the company to pay for a credit monitoring service for a year; it is doubtful that is worth the cost and effort, however.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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