Club Insider

Data Breach Protection and Actions to Take Should One Occur

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Paul R. Bedard, EsquirePaul R. Bedard, Esquire

Not that long ago, nearly all health club membership agreements and other club forms were in paper form. These paper agreements and forms required physical safekeeping to guard against unauthorized access to information. However, health clubs have continued to embrace advances in technology, and the industry has largely moved to paperless operations. Nowadays, signing up new members and handling in-club purchases rarely requires putting pen to paper.

Yet, as the industry becomes more reliant on digital information and technology, the risk of members' payment card information and personally identifiable information becoming compromised is omnipresent. Just like any other consumer-oriented business, health clubs must brace themselves for the inevitable attack on customer data.

Although club owners and operators have a duty to protect both information stored in paper form as well as digital data, the harsh reality is that the digital world entails many more complex layers of potential exposure. However, proactive steps can be taken to minimize the risk of breach, and the rapid execution of a tested response plan following a breach will dramatically reduce the financial and reputational cost associated with such an event.

This article is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice. Widely varying laws specific to each jurisdiction prohibit one - size - fits - all recommendations. Please consider these comments as an educational guide to assist you when you consult your own attorney for specific direction.

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