United States: So You've Been Hacked: The Changing Landscape Of Post-Data Breach Liability

Last Updated: May 8 2017
Article by Joseph Facciponti and Joseph V. Moreno

Most Read Contributor in United States, November 2018

The impact of serious data breaches are becoming both more common and more costly for businesses with each major attack. According to the New York State Attorney General, businesses reported 1,300 data breaches in 2016—a 60 percent increase from the prior year— that involved the personal data of 1.6 million New Yorkers.1 Further, a 2016 independent data breach study conducted by the Ponemon Institute estimated that the average cost of a data breach to a U.S. corporation is roughly $7 million, a 29 percent increase since 2013.2 When companies find themselves to be victims of a data breach, they must navigate an ever-expanding minefield of complex reputational, regulatory, and legal challenges. This article focuses on the potential for regulatory and civil liability for corporations in the aftermath of a data breach.

Regulatory Exposure

The recent trend has been for federal regulators, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and, more recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to treat hacked corporations less like victims and more like potential wrongdoers. This view is especially prevalent where the regulator concludes that the hacked corporation ignored red flags or failed to take appropriate precautions to protect sensitive data from theft. Despite the Trump Administration's general probusiness posture, federal and state regulators are displaying an increasing interest in being seen as aggressive in this space.

Federal Trade Commission. For several years, the FTC has actively sought to hold corporations across industry groups accountable for failing to protect their customers' private data. Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act prohibits "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce."3 The FTC has applied this statute in enforcement actions against corporations for failing to adopt appropriate data protection programs or making misleading statements about the measures taken to protect customers' personal data—even in circumstances in which a corporation has not actually suffered a data breach. For example, in early January 2017, the FTC brought an enforcement action against D-Link, a manufacturer of Internet-enabled security cameras and devices, for allegedly failing to take steps to address security flaws in its equipment that could, for example, allow a hacker to access images from home security cameras, and also for misleading consumers about the security features of its products. 4 Since 2001, the FTC has pursued enforcement actions against nearly 60 corporations for failing to provide reasonable protections for consumers' personal information.5

Resolutions of FTC enforcement actions typically involve a combination of fines and mandates for companies to improve their data security practices. In 2010, the FTC entered into a settlement with LifeLock—a company that specializes in providing data protection services to  consumers—for deceptive advertising and failing to secure its own customers' personal information, including their social security, credit card, and bank account numbers. When LifeLock subsequently violated the terms of the settlement by failing to establish a comprehensive information security program, the FTC pursued contempt proceedings and LifeLock ultimately was required to pay a $100 million penalty in 2015—one of the largest ever obtained by the FTC in an enforcement action.6

Recent developments raise questions regarding the FTC's ability and willingness to continue this aggressive approach. First, a challenge to the FTC's authority to bring cases under §5(a) of the FTC Act is currently pending before the Eleventh Circuit. Among the issues on appeal in that case is whether the FTC has authority to pursue enforcement under §5(a) of the FTC Act if consumers have not suffered a tangible injury as a result of a company's failure to secure their data. In a preliminary opinion granting a stay of the FTC's decision in the matter, the Eleventh Circuit held that LabMD, a nowdefunct medical testing company that inadvertently caused records related to over 9,000 patients to be available over the internet, had raised "compelling reasons" why the FTC's interpretation of §5(a) might be unreasonable.7

Second, whether the FTC under the Trump Administration will continue to vigorously pursue enforcement actions remains to be seen. Earlier this year, President Trump named FTC Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen as Acting Chairperson. In a speech to the American Bar Association's Consumer Protection Conference on Feb. 2, 2017, Ohlhausen stated the FTC should focus on cases with "objective, concrete harms such as monetary injury and unwarranted health and safety risks," not on those involving "speculative injury."8 Ohlhausen also has a history of dissenting from some of the FTC's more aggressive actions, including the action filed against D-Link and the contempt finding against LifeLock, with which she took issue due to a lack of evidence that any of LifeLock's customers' data actually was stolen.9

Securities and Exchange Commission.

It is also an open question whether the SEC will continue to aggressively pursue enforcement actions against corporate hacking victims, particularly in light of statements by President Trump's nominee for Chairman, Jay Clayton, that companies should not be shouldered with government-imposed cybersecurity mandates or take the blame for data breaches conducted by actual cybercriminals who are often unreachable by law enforcement.10

Under Regulation S-P, the so-called "Safeguards Rule," which was promulgated under §504 of the Gramm-Leach- Bliley Act, registered broker-dealers, investment companies, and investment advisers are required to adopt policies and procedures to prevent unauthorized access or use of customer data that could result in substantial harm or inconvenience to a customer.11 In 2016, the SEC fined a major financial institution $1 million for a data breach in which a rogue employee stole data related to hundreds of thousands of customer accounts.12 The stolen data ultimately found its way online— possibly because the employee himself was hacked. The bank took prompt action to investigate the incident and remove the data from the Internet, alert the SEC and its customers, remediate the security issue, and terminate the rogue employee who was ultimately prosecuted by the Department of Justice. Nonetheless, the SEC determined that the bank did not, among other things, properly test its system for security weaknesses or effectively monitor its system for unusual or suspicious activity, and, therefore, was subject to sanction under Regulation S-P.

Publicly-traded companies (issuers) also need to consider issues of disclosure with respect to data breaches, as failure to do so also can lead to SEC scrutiny. The SEC is reportedly investigating Yahoo! over the timing of its disclosures—which it did not make until 2016—of massive data breaches of user account names and passwords that occurred in 2013 and 2014 and that the company learned of in 2014.13 Yahoo!'s delinquent disclosure also impacted its agreement to be purchased by Verizon, resulting in a reduction of the purchase price from $4.83 billion to $4.48 billion.14

Treasury Department. Under the Bank Secrecy Act, banks, broker-dealers, and other covered financial institutions have long been required to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for transactions involving potentially suspicious activity. In 2016, FinCEN issued guidance requiring financial institutions to file SARs in cases of "cyber-events" that affect a transaction or series of transactions. The significance of FinCEN's action is that financial institutions now will have to incorporate cybersecurity incidents into their existing financial crime and SAR compliance program.15

New York and Other State Regulators.

Even if the federal government scales back its enforcement of data security regulations, state regulators are ready to step forward with their own stringent cybersecurity regulations. In New York, the Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently enacted its own cybersecurity rules for "covered entities," including banks, insurance companies and other regulated financial institutions.16 The new rules went into effect on March 1, 2017, and require a host of cybersecurity risk management measures. These requirements include, among other things: appointing a Chief Information Security Officer; adopting comprehensive, board-approved cybersecurity policies and procedures; implementing technical measures such as using two-factor authentication and encrypting confidential data; providing procedures to manage third-party cybersecurity risk; requiring the reporting of cybersecurity events to DFS within 72 hours of discovery; and requiring an annual certification of compliance by a senior officer. Although it remains to be seen how stridently DFS will enforce the new rules, it is known for its aggressive posture in other areas such as money laundering.

While New York has touted its "firstin- nation" cyber rules, other states are bound to be close behind.

European Data Privacy Rules. In addition to the growing regime of federal and state regulations in the United States, the European Union's General Data Privacy Directive (GDPR) will go into effect in May 2018.17 The GDPR applies to any business, including U.S. companies, that solicit customers in Europe, and requires, among other things, strict protection of customer confidential data; implementation of data protection policies and procedures; prompt reporting—within 72 hours—of a data breach to regulators and, without undue delay, to affected customers; and the appointment, in certain circumstances, of a Data Protection Officer. Failure to comply could result in the imposition of fines of up to the higher of four percent of worldwide annual turnover of the business, or €20 million (approximately $21 million).

Civil Liability

Businesses that have suffered data breaches also face potential civil liability from a host of potential plaintiffs, including customers, credit card issuers, business partners, and shareholders.

Consumer Class Action Suits. For consumers whose personal data—such as Social Security or driver's license numbers, credit card or bank account information, or passwords and security question answers—is compromised in a data breach, the primary challenge in civil litigation has historically been to establish an injury-in-fact sufficient to establish standing. Federal courts have struggled with whether a plaintiff had standing in cases where personal data was hacked, but where there was no affirmative misuse of that data that resulted in economic or other tangible harm to the consumer. The issue also arose in cases where a cyberthief used stolen credit card or bank account information to make fraudulent purchases or withdrawals, but where the consumer was fully reimbursed for those losses by their bank or credit card issuer and again suffered no pecuniary loss.

In May 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed the issue of standing in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins.18 Spokeo did not involve a data breach per se, but an allegation that the defendant, which provides biographical information about individuals on the Internet, had violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by publicly published inaccurate information about the plaintiff. The Spokeo court held against the plaintiff, finding that a bare statutory violation was insufficient to confer standing unless the plaintiff had also suffered injuries that were both "particularized" and "concrete." The court remanded the case, directing the Ninth Circuit to consider whether the plaintiff's alleged injury was "concrete."

Since the Spokeo decision, however, the Third and Sixth Circuits have found instances in which plaintiffs have standing in the context of a data breach. In Galaria v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that where plaintiffs incurred mitigation costs as a result of a data breach—including credit and identity-theft monitoring and credit freezes—they had satisfied the injury requirement of standing.19 In In re Horizon Healthcare Services Data Breach Litigation, the Third Circuit held that unauthorized dissemination of plaintiffs' confidential information was itself a sufficiently concrete injury under the FCRA to confer standing.20 Further, the Seventh Circuit, in an opinion issued just before the Spokeo decision, also held that the increased risk of fraudulent charges by identity thieves is sufficient to confer standing, since a primary incentive for hackers is to make fraudulent use of stolen data.21 However, not all Courts of Appeals are aligned: In Beck v. McDonald, the Fourth Circuit came to the opposite conclusion, holding that increased risk of identity theft from a data breach is not sufficient to establish standing, particularly where the passage of years since the data breach revealed no evidence that the plaintiffs' identities have been affirmatively misused.22

In major data breach cases where consumer plaintiffs have survived a motion to dismiss, they have frequently been able to extract seven-figure settlements and other concessions. For example, in 2016, Home Depot agreed to pay up to $19.5 million to settle consumer class action claims arising from the 2014 theft of credit and debit card records for approximately 50 million customers in addition to over $7.5 million in legal fees and costs for plaintiffs.23 In particular, the settlement provided for credit monitoring and up to $10,000 for cardholders with valid claims. In 2017, Neiman Marcus agreed to pay $1.6 million to settle a consumer class action lawsuit arising from the theft of credit card information for approximately 350,000 consumers, and also agreed to make changes to its data security practices including the use of chip-based payment card infrastructure and improved education and training of employees on privacy and data security matters.24

Banks and Credit Card Issuers.

Credit and debit card issuers historically have had less difficulty establishing standing and obtaining even greater settlement amounts, as they often bear the ultimate financial loss from the theft of credit and debit card information due to their reimbursement to cardholder victims. Accordingly, for example, Target reportedly agreed to pay over $100 million in various settlements with Visa, MasterCard, and card issuers for a 2013 data breach that involved the theft of as many as 40 million credit cards.25

Shareholder Derivative Actions.

Shareholder derivative lawsuits in response to data breaches have had the least success to date. In 2014, a derivative lawsuit filed against Wyndham Worldwide Corporation's board of directors over a series of data breaches between 2008 and 2010 was dismissed by a federal district court judge in New Jersey, who held that the board's actions taken in response to the breaches were a goodfaith exercise of business judgment as required by Delaware law.26 Shareholder derivative suits brought against Target27 and Home Depot28 for data breaches have been similarly dismissed. However, even if these types of derivative lawsuits against directors and officers continue to be unsuccessful, that may be small comfort to the corporate victims of hacking who are nonetheless required to expend time and resources responding to them.

Conclusion

For companies already dealing with a multitude of regulatory regimes including foreign bribery, money laundering, and economic sanctions, it is clear that developing a robust cybersecurity compliance program also must be a priority. This will have to include written policies and procedures, internal controls, employee training, independent auditing, and regular reporting to senior management and the board of directors. It also should incorporate a data breach response plan which incorporates not only IT steps, but also how to deal with the legal and public relations fallout of such an event. Failing to do so leaves companies open not only to serious reputational harm, but to regulatory scrutiny and potential civil litigation whose costs can easily become staggering.

Footnotes

1. See Press Release, "A.G. Schneiderman Announces Record Number of Data Breaches for 2016," N.Y. Office of the Attorney General (March 21, 2017).

2. See "2016 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis," Ponemon Institute LLC (June 2016).

3. Codified at 15 U.S.C. §45(a) & (n).

4. See Press Release, "FTC Charges D-Link Put Consumers' Privacy at Risk Due to the Inadequate Security of Its Computer Routers and Cameras" (Jan. 5, 2017), Federal Trade Commission.

5. See Prepared Statement of the Federal Trade Commission before the House Committee on Small Business, "Small Business Cybersecurity: Federal Resources and Coordination" (March 8, 2017).

6. See Press Release, "LifeLock to Pay $100 Million to Consumers to Settle FTC Charges it Violated 2010 Order," Federal Trade Commission (Dec. 17, 2015).

7. See LabMD v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 16-16270, __ Fed. Appx. __, 2016 WL 8116800, at *3 (11th Cir. Nov. 10, 2016).

8. See Opening Keynote of Maureen K. Ohlhausen, ABA 2017 Consumer Protection Conference (Feb. 2, 2017).

9. See "Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen," FTC v. LifeLock, Matter No. X100023 (Dec. 17, 2015).

10. See Roger Yu, "Honed by Wall Street: What Makes Trump SEC Pick Jay Clayton Tick," USA Today (Jan. 4, 2017); Jay Clayton, David Lawrence & Frances Townsend, "We Don't Need a Crisis to Act Unitedly Against Cyber Threats," Knowledge@ Wharton (June 2015).

11. Codified at 17 C.F.R. §248.30.

12. See SEC Press Release (June 8, 2016).

13. See Aruna Viswanatha and Robert McMillan, "Yahoo Faces SEC Probe Over Data Breaches," Wall Street Journal (Jan. 23, 2017).

14. See Irina Ivanova, "Verizon slashes offer price for Yahoo over data breaches," CBS News (Feb. 21, 2017).

15. See "Advisory to Financial Institutions on Cyber-Events and Cyber-Enabled Crime," Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Oct. 25, 2016).

16. See 23 NYCRR 500.

17. See Directive 94/46/EC.

18. No. 13-1339, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (May 24, 2016).

19. See 663 Fed. Appx. 384 (6th Cir. 2016).

20. See In re Horizon Healthcare Services Data Breach Litigation, 846 F.3d 625 (3d Cir. 2017).

21. See Lewert v. P.F. Chang's China Bistro, 819 F.3d 963 (7th Cir. 2016).

22. See 848 F.3d 262 (4th Cir. 2017).

23. See Jonathan Stempel, "Home Depot settles big lawsuit over big 2014 data breach," Reuters (March 8, 2016); see also In re Home Depot, No 14-md-2583, ECF Nos. 260 & 261 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 23, 2016) (orders approving settlement agreement).

24. See Maria Halkias, "Neiman Marcus to pay $1.6 million in shopper data breach lawsuit," Dallas News (March 20, 2017); Remijas v. The Neiman Marcus Group, No. 14-cv-1735, ECF No. 145 (N.D. Ill. March 17, 2017) (Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Law in Support of Settlement and Class Certification).

25. Jonathan Stempel and Nandita Bose, "Target in $39.4 million settlement with banks over data breach," Reuters (Dec. 2, 2015).

26. See Palkon v. Holmes, et al., No. 14-cv-1234, 2014 WL 5341880 (D.N.J. Oct. 20, 2014).

27. See Shayna Posses, "Target Execs Escape Derivative Claims Over Data Breach," Law360 (July 7, 2016).

28. See In re The Home Depot Shareholder Derivative Litig., No. 15-cv-2999, 2016 WL 6995676 (N.D. Ga. Nov. 30, 2016).

Previoulsy published in New York Law Journal, April 28, 20187.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP
Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP
Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions