Mealey's Data Privacy

  • February 22, 2017

    Wiretapping Claims Over Golden State Warriors App Partly Dismissed

    SAN FRANCISCO — A fan of the Golden State Warriors did not sufficiently allege her wiretap claim based on the team’s smartphone app, a California federal judge ruled Feb. 13, holding that she did not establish the necessary “interception” elements under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) (LaTisha Satchell v. Sonic Notify Inc. d/b/a Signal360, et al., No.3:16-cv-04961, N.D. Calif.).

  • February 22, 2017

    Amazon Moves To Quash Discovery Of Echo Recordings In Arkansas Murder Case

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Citing privacy and free speech concerns, Amazon.com Inc. in a Feb. 17 motion in Arkansas court seeks to quash a police department warrant ordering production of sound recordings and transcripts associated with an Amazon Echo device belonging to the defendant in a murder case (State of Arkansas v. James A. Bates, No. CR-2016-370-2, Benton Co., Ark. Cir. Ct.).

  • February 21, 2017

    En Banc 11th Circuit Finds Florida Gun Privacy Law Unconstitutional

    ATLANTA — Affirming in part a trial court’s ruling, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals en banc majority on Feb. 16 found that certain provisions of Florida’s Firearm Owners Privacy Act (FOPA) violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because they regulate physicians’ speech based on content (Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, et al. v. Governor of the State of Florida, et al., No. 12-14009, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2747).

  • February 15, 2017

    Lenovo Spyware Class Defends Standing To Bring New York Consumer Claim

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Opposing a motion for partial dismissal by computer manufacturer Lenovo (United States) Inc. in a Feb. 10 brief, the plaintiffs in a class action over purported laptop spyware told a California federal court that they had standing to bring a New York law deceptive acts claim based on a choice-of-law provision in their sales agreements (In Re:  Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02624, N.D. Calif.).

  • February 14, 2017

    Data Breach Class Claims Against Premera Mostly Survive Dismissal Motion

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Although an Oregon federal judge on Feb. 9 found that some fraud and contract-based claims related to a 2014 data breach experienced by Premera Blue Cross merited dismissal, he held that the plaintiffs cured some previous deficiencies and concluded that their claims are not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) (In Re:  Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02633, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18322).

  • February 10, 2017

    Microsoft’s 1st Amendment Claim Over DOJ’s Secrecy Orders Survives Dismissal

    SEATTLE — Microsoft Corp. has sufficiently alleged that its rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution have been violated by U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) “secrecy orders” that forbid the firm from revealing that customers’ electronic records have been searched via governmental warrants, a Washington federal judge ruled Feb. 8, denying in part the DOJ’s motion to dismiss Microsoft’s constitutional challenge to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) (Microsoft Corp. v. The U.S. Department of Justice, et al., No. 2:16-cv-00538, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18691).

  • February 10, 2017

    Data Breach Class Action Filed On Behalf Of Yahoo Small Business Clients

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A customer of Yahoo! Inc.’s small business services filed a putative class action complaint against the firm Feb. 8 in California federal court, accusing the internet firm of negligence, breach of contract and unfair competition related to two recently announced data breaches that exposed customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) (Brian Neff v. Yahoo! Inc. et al., No. 5:17-cv-00641, N.D. Calif.).

  • February 10, 2017

    Judge Quashes Insurer’s Subpoena On Google Seeking Firm’s Emails

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Feb. 7 quashed a subpoena served on Google Inc. by Allstate Insurance Co., finding that the insurer’s request for documents related to records from email accounts associated with a law firm accused of submitting fraudulent insurance claims are shielded from discovery by the Stored Communications Act (SCA) (Allstate Insurance Co. v. Lighthouse Law P.S. Inc., et al., No. C15-1976RSL, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17284).

  • February 9, 2017

    Boston University CTE Center Opposes Handing Over Autopsy Reports To NHL

    MINNEAPOLIS — The trustees of Boston University on Feb. 6 told the federal judge overseeing the National Hockey League concussion multidistrict litigation that the league has failed to “demonstrate with specificity” why it needs the research and autopsy reports conducted by the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center (CTE Center) and that compelling those documents would violate the privacy of the research subjects (In re:  National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).

  • February 8, 2017

    Google Ordered To Produce Foreign-Stored Data Sought By FBI Warrants

    PHILADELPHIA — In a Feb. 3 ruling, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate concluded that compelling Google Inc. to comply with warrants requiring production of data stored in foreign-based servers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation “does not constitute an unlawful extraterritorial application of the” Stored Communications Act (SCA) (In re Search Warrant No. 16-960-M-01 to Google, No. 2:16-mj-00960 and In re Search Warrant No. 16-1061-M to Google, No. 2:16-mj-01061, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15232).

  • February 7, 2017

    FTC, New Jersey Reach $2.5M Settlement With Vizio Over Smart TV Data Collection

    NEWARK, N.J. — Concurrent with their filing of a complaint in New Jersey federal court alleging consumer violations by Vizio Inc.’s surreptitious collection of the viewing habits of smart TV users, the Federal Trade Commission and two New Jersey officials on Feb. 6 also filed a stipulated order reflecting an agreement by the television manufacturer to “[p]rominently disclose” its data collection and sharing practices and to obtain consumers’ consent (Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. Vizio Inc., et al., No. 2:17-cv-00758, D. N.J.).

  • February 3, 2017

    Yahoo Sues Insurer Over Coverage Of Email Scanning Suits

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — On Jan. 31, Yahoo! Inc. sued its commercial general liability (CGL) provider in California federal court, alleging breach of contract and bad faith related to the insurer’s decision not to defend or indemnify the internet firm in four class actions alleging privacy violations in certain email-scanning practices (Yahoo! Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 5:17-cv-00489, N.D. Calif.).

  • February 3, 2017

    8th Circuit Remands Target Data Breach Class Settlement For ‘Rigorous Analysis’

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — Finding merit to objections of two members of a consumer class action over a 2013 data breach experienced by Target Corp., an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 1 remanded a settlement of that suit, finding that a trial court “failed to articulate its analysis of the numerous disputed issues of law and fact regarding the propriety of class certification” (In re:  Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-3909, 15-3912, 16-1203, 16-1245 and 16-1408, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1767).

  • February 2, 2017

    Judge Approves $5.5 Million Settlement Of Google Cookie Privacy Class Action

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A proposed $5.5 million cy pres settlement of a class action over the tracking cookie practices of Google Inc. was approved by a Delaware federal judge Feb. 2, with requests for awards of attorney fees and incentive awards being granted and a lone objection to the settlement being overruled (In Re:  Google Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 1:12-md-02358, D. Del.).

  • February 1, 2017

    FBI Says Withholding Of IPhone Unlocking Details Is Supported By FOIA Exemptions

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Jan. 31 motion in District of Columbia federal court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seeks summary judgment of a suit in which three news organizations allege Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) violations, with the bureau asserting that it withheld certain details related to the unlocking of a terrorist’s smart phone out of national security concerns and to protect trade secrets of the vendor that unlocked the device (The Associated Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, No. 1:16-cv-01850, D. D.C.).

  • February 1, 2017

    Video Game Players’ Biometrics Complaint Over Facial Scans Dismissed

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Jan. 27 found that a putative class complaint against a video game manufacturer under an Illinois biometrics law failed because the lead plaintiffs did not establish a concrete injury-in-fact from the in-game facial scans with which they voluntarily participated (Ricardo Vigil, et al. v. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., No. 1:15-cv-08211, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12295).

  • January 27, 2017

    Florida Appeals Court Orders Foreign Adverse Event Reports To Be Redacted

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals court on Jan. 25 quashed a trial court order requiring Howmedica Osteonics Corp. to produce unredacted foreign adverse event reports about certain of its recalled hip prostheses (Howmedica Osteonics Corp. v. Joyce Trowbridge, et al., No. 4D16-2374, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 764).

  • January 25, 2017

    Federal Judge Finds Tenants Lack Standing To Sue Real Estate Trust

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Jan. 20 dismissed class action claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), negligence and other causes of action related to a data breach of a real estate trust's computer system, finding that former tenants of the trust's property failed to show that they had standing to sue (Mark Foster, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Essex Property Inc., No. .5:14-cv-05531, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8373).

  • January 25, 2017

    Government Opposes Rehearing In 7th Circuit Case Over Use Of Cell-Site Simulator

    CHICAGO — In a Jan. 24 brief in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the U.S. government argues that en banc hearing is not merited in a dispute over law enforcement’s use of a cell-site simulator to track a suspect, stating that a panel decision denying suppression of the device’s gathered information was in line with case law and did not create a circuit split on rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (United States of America v. Damian Patrick, No.15-2443, 7th Cir.).

  • January 25, 2017

    Government, Organization Argue Whether Official’s Emails Are Private, FOIA-Exempt

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Jan. 19 reply brief filed in District of Columbia federal court, the U.S. government argues that the personal email account of the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is exempt from production in response to a group’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request because the emails contained within it are duplicative of records already in the agency’s possession that are subject to the FOIA (Competitive Enterprise Institute v. Office of Science and Technology Policy, No. 1:14-cv-00765, D. D.C.).