Huntington National Bank sues ex-workers for allegedly stealing sensitive customer data

Brandy Brubaker of Associated Press reports:

A lawsuit filed by Huntington National Bank claims six former employees stole more than 2,000 customer records before they quit to go work for the competition.

The bank filed the lawsuit in federal court against former vice president Sandra D. Kokoska, former assistant vice president Kimberly A. Barnum, and mortgage department employees, Stewart P. McCaw, Lisa A. Musgrave, Carrie J. Swaniger and Marcie A. Lipscomb.

The lawsuit alleges that the former employees committed a “brazen and egregious theft of trade secrets” when they abruptly resigned April 14 and opened a new loan origination office for MVB Bank in Cranberry Square, Morgantown, on April 18.


“These customer records did not merely include customer names, addresses and telephone numbers,” the lawsuit said. “In addition, the defendants took with them what is presently known to be over 2,000 customer Social Security numbers, dates of birth, bank account numbers, and other highly confidential, personal information of Huntington’s customers, the unwitting victims of this theft.”

The lawsuit also claims that the former employees took the files of some customers who had filed active mortgage loan applications — files which included their paystubs, W-2s, tax returns and other sensitive information — often without the customers’ knowledge or consent.

Read more in the Charleston Daily Mail.  I’ve uploaded a copy of the complaint here (pdf).

So a customer whose data are appropriated/taken has no effective private cause of action against the company unless they can show unreimbursed financial harm, but the company has a cause of action against the former employees for theft of trade secrets.

Well, maybe the customers can file an FTC complaint if the bank claimed it would keep their information private and secure. But even then, the customers would likely get nothing.

Are you listening, Congress? Where is the private cause of action for individuals?

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