WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a pair of Feb. 5 rulings, a District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals panel upheld a trial court’s dismissal of three lawsuits over adomestic surveillance program of the National Security Agency (NSA), finding that the discontinuation of the program rendered most of the claims smoot (Larry Klayman, et al. v. Barack Obama, et al., Nos. 17-5281 and 17-5282, D.C. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3572; and Larry Klayman v. James B. Comey, et al., No. 18-5097, D.C. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3574).
PORTLAND, Ore. — Addressing motions to compel by both sides in a consolidated class action over a 2014 data breach experienced by Premera Blue Cross, an Oregon federal judge on Feb. 6 denied the health insurer’s request to inspect the computers and devices of the named plaintiffs, finding the request to be “not proportional to the needs of the case” and outweighed by the plaintiffs’ privacy interests (In Re: Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02633, D. Ore., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20279).
SAN FRANCISCO — A consolidated class complaint was filed against Facebook Inc. in California federal court Feb. 7, with plaintiffs alleging negligence and breach of contract related to a 2018 data breach that exposed the personal details of millions of the social network’s users through a vulnerability in the profile “View As” feature (Carl Echavarria, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:18-cv-05982, N.D. Calif.).
HOUSTON— Apple Inc. was hit with a negligence and products liability complaint Jan. 28, when a Texas man filed suit in Texas state court over the recently announced glitch in the FaceTime for iPhones that allowed users to eavesdrop on one another (Larry D. Williams II v. Apple Inc., et al., No. 2019-06645, Texas Dist., Harris Co.).
CHICAGO — One month after an Illinois federal judge dismissed their complaints against Google LLC under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), two Chicago residents teamed up to file similar privacy claims over Google’s photo-tagging feature in Illinois state court on Jan. 24 (Lindabeth Rivera, et al. v. Google LLC, No. 2009CH00990, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Feb. 6 granted two motions to centralize 11 lawsuits against Marriott International Inc. in Maryland federal court, finding that common issues in the lawsuits over the hotel chain’s recently announced data breach made centralization appropriate and efficient (In re: Marriott International Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 2879, JPMDL).
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook Inc.’s quest to dismiss a consolidated privacy class action over its data-sharing activities with Cambridge Analytica LLC stalled after a Feb. 1 hearing on its dismissal motion, when a California federal judge granted the plaintiffs’ request to file an amended complaint, thereby, he said, mooting the social network’s motion (In re Facebook Inc., Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, No. 3:18-md-2843, N.D. Calif.)
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — In what he called a “close question,” a Kansas federal judge on Feb. 1 found that the U.S. Constitution recognizes a right to informational privacy, leading him to deny a motion by the past and present Kansas secretaries of State to dismiss a putative class action alleging privacy violations over a program through which certain voter data was shared with other states (Scott Moore, et al. v. Kris Kobach, et al., No. 2:18-cv-02329, D. Kan., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16339).
OAKLAND, Calif. — The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Feb. 1 filed a reply brief in response to a California federal court’s order to show cause, arguing that a Federal Bureau of Investigation declaration should remain classified and inaccessible to Twitter Inc. in a lawsuit focusing on the social network’s quest to inform the public about its compelled role in the FBI’s surveillance program (Twitter Inc. v. Matthew G. Whitaker, et al., No. 4:14-cv-04480, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a Jan. 31 pretrial order, a California federal judge in the consolidated privacy class action over Facebook Inc’s data-sharing activities with Cambridge Analytica LLC directed the parties “to pay special attention to” topics related to the plaintiffs’ purported consent to share their personal data with third parties and the social network’s disclosure of pertinent account settings (In re Facebook Inc., Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, No. 3:18-md-2843, N.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA — One year after the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in a customer’s lawsuit against J. Crew Group Inc. under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), the plaintiff on Jan. 29 filed a notice of supplemental authority, stating that a recent Illinois First District Appellate Court ruling supports his standing to sue the retailer for violating the statute’s receipt-printing guidelines without requiring evidence of additional harm (Ahmed Kamal v. J. Crew Group Inc., et al., No. 17-2345 and 17-2453, 3rd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Concluding that most of the named plaintiffs suing their health insurance provider over a 2014 data breach failed to plead damages, a District of Columbia federal judge on Jan. 30 mostly dismissed their class claims for negligence, fraud and consumer protection against the insurer (Chantal Attias, et al. v. CareFirst Inc., et al., No. 1:15-cv-00882, D. D.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14387).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Jan. 28 denied a motion to preliminarily approve a proposed $50 million settlement of a consolidated class action over multiple data breaches experienced by Yahoo! Inc., citing six bases for denial, including inadequate disclosure and a lack of transparency (In re: Yahoo! Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:16-md-02752, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13410).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Jan. 28 granted final approval of a settlement reached between Pepsi Beverages Co. (PBC) and a class of individuals whose consumer reports were pulled for employment purposes in a lawsuit over failure to provide proper disclosures, but reduced the requested attorney fees, finding that the requested percentage and hourly rates were too high (Altareek Grice, et al. v. Pepsi Beverages Company, et al., No. 17-8853, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13298).
ATLANTA — In a trio of Jan. 28 rulings, a Georgia federal judge dismissed Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other claims brought against Equifax Inc. by consumer and financial institution (FI) classes over its 2017 data breach, while allowing negligence and unjust enrichment claims to proceed (In Re: Equifax Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:17-md-2800, N.D. Ga.).
PHILADELPHIA — The proposed settlement of a class action against a health care concierge by employees whose personally identifiable information (PII) was compromised in a 2017 phishing incident received preliminary approval Jan. 24 from Pennsylvania federal judge, who found “that an initial presumption of fairness” had been established in the defendant’s agreement to reimburse affected employees and to make certain technological and security improvements (Tashica Fulton-Green, et al. v. Accolade Inc., No. 2:18-cv-00274, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11149).
OAKLAND, Calif. — Responding to an order to show cause, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in a Jan. 18 filing argues that Twitter Inc. should not be granted access to a Federal Bureau of Investigation representative’s declaration in a lawsuit over the social network’s government-ordered surveillance activities, telling a California federal judge that the declaration was submitted in camera due to its classified nature (Twitter Inc. v. Matthew G. Whitaker, et al., No. 4:14-cv-04480, N.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — One month after a California federal judge dismissed their privacy lawsuit against a marketing firm for purportedly deploying self-replicating cookies onto their smartphones, the lead plaintiffs in the putative class action decided not to submit an amended complaint and instead filed an unopposed notice of voluntary dismissal of their four-year old lawsuit on Jan. 23 (Anthony Henson, et al. v. Turn Inc., No. 4:15-cv-01497, N.D. Calif.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Plaintiffs bringing claims under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) do not need to allege an “actual injury or adverse effect” other than the violation of their protected biometric privacy rights to qualify as an “aggrieved” person under the act, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously ruled Jan. 25, reversing a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit over an amusement park’s fingerprinting practice (Stacy Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., No. 123186, Ill. Sup., 2019 Ill. LEXIS 7).
SAN FRANCISCO — One month after a California federal judge dismissed their privacy and related claims against Facebook Inc. over a now-discontinued practice of scraping users’ call and text information from Android smartphones, a group of Android users on Jan. 22 filed an amended complaint realleging some of the dismissed claims and adding a claim of fraud (Lawrence Olin, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:18-cv-01881, N.D. Calif.).