September 20, 2020

Volume X, Number 264

September 18, 2020

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Florida’s CADRA a Powerful New Data Protection

Florida businesses will soon have an important and powerful new legal cause of action to combat unauthorized access to protected computer systems or data by employees, former employees, directors, officers, and others. Florida's Computer Abuse and Data Recovery Act (CADRA) goes into effect on October 1, 2015.

CADRA is intended to be a national model for legislation providing a new civil remedy (and recovery of reasonable attorneys' fees) to business owners who suffer harm or loss as a result of unauthorized access to their business data or computer systems. To take advantage of CADRA's protections, businesses must protect their computers by installing certain “technological access barriers,” or TABs, defined in CADRA.

An individual violates CADRA when he or she “knowingly and with intent to cause harm or loss”: (1) obtains information from a TAB-protected computer without authorization and as a result causes harm or loss; (2) causes the transmission of a program, code, or command to a TAB-protected computer and as a result causes harm or loss; or (3) traffics in any TAB through which access to a protected computer might be gained without authorization.

Directors, officers, employees, and others are considered authorized users only when they have express permission of the business owner to access TAB-protected computers. This authorization ends when the relationship between the business and the individual ends - whether by termination of employment or by other means.

A business owner bringing suit under CADRA may recover money damages including: lost profits, economic damages, and the profits gained by the violator. Additionally, the owner is entitled to an injunction to prevent further violations and will recover the stolen information. Finally, the prevailing party in a CADRA action is entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees.

A full description of the law is available here

© 2020 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume V, Number 254


About this Author

Michael Gay, Foley Lardner, Covenant Litigation Lawyer, Contract Disputes Attorney,

Michael Gay is a litigation lawyer and managing partner of Foley’s Orlando office. Mr. Gay handles a variety of commercial disputes, including restrictive covenant litigation, patent and trademark litigation, environmental litigation, health care litigation and contract disputes. He is a member of the firm’s Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Intellectual Property Litigation Practices.

Prior to joining Foley in 1995, Mr. Gay practiced in Houston, Texas, as a commercial trial lawyer.

Adam C. Losey, Foley Lardner, Information Security Lawyer, Internal Revenue Service Attorney,
Senior Counsel

Adam Losey is an attorney, author, and educator in the field of technology law. He represents companies and individuals in high-stakes litigations across the country involving challenging issues at the intersection of law and technology. In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Losey routinely counsels clients on a variety of information security, privacy, electronic discovery, and internet-related matters.

Kevin A. Reck, Foley Lardner, Financial Lending Attorney, Fraudulent Transfers Lawyer,

Kevin A. Reck is a partner and business litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP and currently serves as chair of the firm’s Orlando Litigation Department. He represents a large number of banks, financial institutions, federally chartered institutions, secured lenders, special servicers, unsecured creditors, creditor's committees and commercial landlords. Mr. Reck's practice includes commercial real estate loan workouts, chapter 11 proceedings, including chapter 11 plan litigation, single asset real estate cases, bankruptcy sales, valuation hearings as well as...