On August 3, 2022, The Country Club at Woodfield, Inc. (“Woodfield Country Club”) reported a data breach with the various government entities after the organization learned it was the victim of a cyberattack. While Woodfield Country Club has not yet disclosed the types of data that were leaked in the attack, based on state data breach reporting requirements, it is likely that the incident affected the sensitive information members. After confirming the breach and identifying all affected parties, The Country Club at Woodfield began sending out data breach letters to all affected parties.
If you received a data breach notification, it is essential you understand what is at risk and what you can do about it. To learn more about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft and what your legal options are in the wake of The Country Club at Woodfield data breach, please see our recent piece on the topic here.
What We Know About The Country Club at Woodfield Data Breach
The information about The Country Club at Woodfield, Inc. data breach comes from an official notice filed with the Office of the Vermont Attorney General. Evidently, on July 10, 2022, Woodfield Country Club discovered that it had been the recent victim of a cyberattack. In response, the organization took its systems offline and launched an investigation into the incident with the assistance of outside cybersecurity professionals.
The Woodfield Country Club investigation confirmed that an unauthorized party was able to access its servers on July 10, 2022. It was also determined that the unauthorized party copied certain files from The Woodfield Country Club’s IT network.
Upon discovering that sensitive consumer data was accessible to an unauthorized party, The Country Club at Woodfield began the process of reviewing all affected files to determine what information was compromised and which consumers were impacted by the incident. However, the data types that were affected have not yet been confirmed by The Woodfield Country Club.
On August 3, 2022, The Country Club at Woodfield sent out data breach letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.
More Information About The Country Club at Woodfield, Inc.
The Country Club at Woodfield, Inc. is a private, non-profit, member-owned country club in Boca Raton, FL. The Woodfield facilities include multiple dining options, a 3,000 sq. ft. kids’ club, 20 tennis courts, and a new 18-hole golf course, among others. There are approximately 4,000 members of The Country Club at Woodfield, as well as 1,297 residences located in the 20 communities located within the club. The Country Club at Woodfield employs more than 84 people and generates approximately $67 million in annual revenue.
Could a Country Club Be Liable for a Data Breach Impacting Member’s Sensitive Information?
Yes, in certain situations, a country club, like any other business, may be liable for the harm members suffer as a result of a data breach. Of course, The Country Club at Woodfield data breach is relatively recent news, and more information is necessary to assess the club’s potential liability.
However, as a general rule, any organization that maintains, stores, transmits or receives consumer or customer information has a legal obligation to maintain the security of that information. That said, an organization is not always liable for victims’ harms after a data breach; it depends on whether the organization was legally negligent leading up to the breach.
For example, in a typical data breach lawsuit or data breach class action lawsuit, an organization may be financially responsible for victims’ harms such as identity theft or other frauds if the victims can prove the following elements:
The organization owed the victims a duty of care;
The organization breached the duty it owed to the victims;
The organization’s negligence caused or contributed to the victim’s harms (i.e., identity theft); and
The victim suffered economic or non-economic injury as a result.
While this sounds straightforward, proving these elements can be difficult for a few reasons. First, data breach lawsuits involve the complex intersection of the law and technology, and not all attorneys have the knowledge or experience to handle these claims. And second, many feel that because the incident was orchestrated by a third party, an organization is just another victim. However, this is an oversimplification, and while organizations that are targeted in a cyberattack are technically victims, the real victims are the consumers whose information ends up in the hands of criminals. This is why the law imposes a duty on all organizations to maintain consumer privacy.
A data breach lawyer can help breach victims who have questions about what they can do to protect themselves in the wake of a data breach, as well as identify what options they have to hold the organization that leaked their data accountable.