St. Louis law firm launches new data breach practice group

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- From Schnucks to Target, Neiman Marcus to TJ Maxx, data breaches are annoying to consumers and an expensive problem for businesses.

Now a St. Louis law firm is launching a new practice group focusing on data and how to protect it.

The number of data breaches grows every year and there's a hodgepodge of state and federal laws currently governing personal data and the collection and protection of it.

It's a complicated, litigious area of the law that's red hot for representation.

2013 might be the year Americans got fed up with data breaches and who can blame us. The breaches seemed to make headlines every week with the biggest one at the end of the year when tens of millions of Target customers had their credit and debit card information stolen by hackers.

St. Louis-based law firm Greensfelder, Hemker and Gale, recently launched a new data breach practice group.

Accountability will likely increase as congress is putting more scrutiny on the business of data collection and who is responsible when something goes wrong.

Even before federal laws are enacted, consumers are now demanding recourse when their data is compromised. More and more people are now filing class action lawsuits.

Those lawsuits are very expensive to litigate, which is why Attorney Lucie Huger says a company's best defense in court is a strong offense in the computer server room.

What makes this area tricky for businesses and consumers, 46 states have laws governing data breaches and there can be vast differences in those laws. That's why Lucie Huger suspects congress will take the lead, standardizing the laws with federal regulations.