Data privacy litigation is one of the current growth areas of the law that young lawyers interested in mass torts should be aware of. Companies in the United States love consumer data. In fact, each year U.S. companies collect enough of it to fill 10,000 Libraries of Congress. See Bill McDermott, “Business in Surreal Time,” SAP Sapphire Now, Nov. 5, 2012. To be sure, the collection and use of consumer data is not a new phenomenon; companies have been analyzing point-of-sale transactional data through the use of barcodes since the 1970s. See James Manyika et al., Big Data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition, and Productivity (McKinsey & Company May 15, 2011). But today businesses have taken the collection and use of data to new heights, “mining” stockpiles of consumer information with sophisticated algorithms to optimize top and bottom lines. See id. (estimating that retailers using big data can increase operating margins by more than 60 percent).
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