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Does Florida Law Protect Business Computers and Electronic Data From Theft?

Does Florida Law Protect Business Computers and Electronic Data From Theft?

Florida’s Computer Abuse and Data Recovery Act (“CADRA”), which became effective on October 1, 2015, provides a civil remedy for businesses harmed by persons who access, take, or destroy business data, systems or software from a “protected computer” without authorization. Violators might be insiders, such as disloyal employees, or they could be outside hackers stealing…. data and destroying hardware, software, and valuable digitally stored information. Prior to CADRA, Florida businesses confronted with data theft or computer intrusions were forced to seek legal recourse under Florida’s cumbersome trade secret laws, or state and federal statutes that are primarily criminal in nature and thus narrowly construed by the courts. With the advent of CADRA, Florida businesses that take steps to ensure that their data storage and security practices meet the new statutory requirements will be able to take advantage of the protections afforded by a broad and purely civil statutory cause of action. Moreover, businesses that prevail in a lawsuit under CADRA will be entitled to recover actual damages (including lost profits), the violator’s profits, injunctive relief to prevent future violations, and attorney fees.

 

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