In this case, however, the fact that the newspaper apparently published false information -- and the business can demonstrate that they have suffered a financial loss as a result -- puts the newspaper in legal jeopardy.
I’m no attorney either, but do have some experience in the data sales business. There is a huge difference in one record (does John Doe have a permit for a gun) when used to answer a specific question. Compare that to pulling all the records, with a very different goal.
I believe that everyone in the community has a potential cause of action against the newspaper for almost anything that now happens in the community:
- Any burglary of a home that was on the list can claim that they were targeted
- Any home burglary of a person not on the list can claim they were set up as an easy target
- Businesses that lose sales because of boycotts, can make a claim that they were targeted for a legal act (having a permit for a gun).
And so on...
The newspaper’s actions were not based on writing a story (if it were, the specific names and addresses would not be necessary), rather compiling the public data and creating a new data set (the full list) for the purpose of shaming people.
I hope that everyone on the map (and a lot of those off the map) sue the paper out of existence.