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Civil Practice – Standing – Article III Injury – Statutory Violation – SSN

Plaintiff alleges a violation of South Carolina’s Financial Identity Fraud and Identity Theft Protection Act based on defendant’s website requiring plaintiff to enter six digits of his social security number in order to learn whether he had been affected by the Equifax data breach. Although plaintiff thus alleges an injury in law, since he does not allege an injury in fact, he lacks Article III standing.

We vacate the district court’s ruling that plaintiff had Article III standing. We remand with instructions to remand to state court, where this case originated.

There don’t appear to be cases interpreting the South Carolina statute under an Article III framework, but cases decided under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act and in the wake of other data breaches have required an injury in fact as a prerequisite to Article III standing. Federal courts can’t entertain a case without a concrete injury in fact.

O’Leary v. TrustedID, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 001-024-23, 12 pp.) (Albert Diaz, J.) No. 21-2144. Appealed from USDC at Columbia, S.C. (Sherri Lydon, J.) David Andrew Maxfield and Justin Holcombe for appellant; Ashley Charles Parrish, Gabriel Krimm, Zachary McEntyre and Robert Griest for appellee. 4th Cir.

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