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Data leakage does not generate automatic compensation for moral damages.

The 2nd Civil Court of Osasco, São Paulo, decided that damages resulting from data leaks must be proven to justify the payment of moral damages1.

According to the judge, it would be necessary to assess whether the leakage of the plaintiff’s data actually caused any damage. General allegations that the plaintiff suffered psychological damages, such as receipt of telemarketing calls, are not sufficient without demonstrating that the data has been misused or, for example, resulted in fraud in her name.

In this case, the judge pointed out that there was a failure in the provision of service, but considered that the leaked information did not affect the plaintiff’s image, even if her data, such as her full name, phone number, email and average consumption of residential energy has been leaked.

The judge pointed out that: “The plaintiff alleges that she started to receive email and phone calls with advertisements, being obliged to check the received emails. However, these occurrences are already supported by all citizens in this country. There is no person who has not received a telemarketing call offering unwanted products and services. There are no citizens who do not receive spam or unwanted messages in their email. Each and every citizen has a duty to check the data on the bank slip, whether physical or electronically received, regardless of any data leakage.”

Therefore, the judge understood that the situation reported by the plaintiff did not meet the requirements for ordering the defendant to pay moral damages.

More information in Portuguese at:

1 Lawsuit 1025226-41.2020.8.26.0405