PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge on April 17 granted a disability claimant’s motion to file the entire administrative record under seal after determining that the claimant’s interest in keeping her personal and medical information private outweighs the right of public access to the information (Alison Gary v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, No. 17-1414, D. Ore., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64186).
SAN FRANCISCO — A group of Illinois Facebook Inc. users were handed another victory April 16, as a California judge certified one of the proposed classes in their lawsuit, in which they claim that the social network operator violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by collecting users’ facial scans in connection with a photo-tagging feature (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63930).
SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on April 12 declined to certify a class of inmates and attorneys whose phone calls were allegedly eavesdropped on and/or recorded by the company providing inmate communication services, Securus Technologies Inc., finding that the plaintiffs bringing the lawsuit failed to show that a class action is a superior method for proceeding with their claims (Juan Romero, et al. v. Securus Technologies, Inc., No. 16-1283, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63084).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 17 declared an already-argued case between the U.S. government and Microsoft Corp. over law enforcement’s ability to compel production of foreign-stored emails to be mooted by the newly passed Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act), which amended the warrant provision of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) at issue in the suit, leaving no live dispute between the parties (United States v. Microsoft Corp., No. 17-2, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 2495).
CHICAGO — A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 11 reinstated a proposed class complaint accusing a bookstore chain of failing to protect customers’ personal data when it fell victim to data theft, ruling that the trial court erred when it dismissed two customers’ allegations on the ground that they failed to adequately allege compensable damages (Heather Dieffenbach, et al. v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., No. 17-2408, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 9051).
SAN FRANCISCO — In an April 6 minute order, a California federal judge ordered that amended complaints be filed in three related class actions brought against The Walt Disney Co., Viacom Inc. and others under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) related to game apps, voicing possible concerns about the claims’ viability (Amanda Rushing, et al. v. The Walt Disney Company, et al., No. 3:17-cv-04419, N.D. Calif.; Amanda Rushing, et al. v. Viacom Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-04492, N.D. Calif.; Michael McDonald, et al. v. Kiloo ApS, et al., No. 3:17-cv-04344, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Opposing a motion seeking consolidation in California of the growing tally of class actions over the recently revealed incident in which millions of Facebook Inc.’s users’ profile information was shared with a third-party analytics firm, a Texas man on April 5 filed a brief in the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) suggesting that his home state would make a better venue (In re Facebook User Profile Litigation, No. 2843, JPMDL).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Responding to the U.S. government’s motion to vacate an appeals court ruling over law enforcement’s ability to compel production of foreign-stored emails, Microsoft Corp. tells the U.S. Supreme Court in an April 3 brief that it doesn’t oppose the motion, agreeing that the newly passed Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act) moots the already-argued case (United States v. Microsoft Corp., No. 17-2, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO — An Illinois man who alleged biometric privacy violations in Facebook Inc.’s facial recognition technology saw his putative class claims disposed of for a second time April 3, as a California federal judge found that the plaintiff failed to show that a genuine dispute existed as to the technology that was used on the relevant social network page (Frederick William Gullen v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:16-cv-00937, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. government on March 30 moved to vacate a case regarding extraterritorial application of a Stored Communications Act (SCA) warrant that it argued before the U.S. Supreme Court a month earlier, asserting that the recently passed Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act) mooted Microsoft Corp.’s objections to producing foreign-stored emails (United States v. Microsoft Corp., No. 17-2, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a pair of per curiam rulings, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 2 denied without comment motions for vacatur and rehearing en banc by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) of the court’s December ruling that the organization lacked standing to sue a now-dissolved presidential commission that had been formed to collect certain voter data (Electronic Privacy Information Center v. Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, et al., No. 17-5171, D.C. Cir.).
BALTIMORE — In a March 29 press release, athletic apparel and accessory maker Under Armour Inc. announced that a recently discovered data security incident exposed the account information of 150 million users of its MyFitnessPal (MFP) website and app.
SAN FRANCISCO — In a March 22 petition for rehearing, Zappos.com Inc. asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reconsider a two-week old panel ruling that found a putative class of Zappos customers had standing to sue over a 2012 data breach, arguing that the panel relied on a standard based on noncontrolling case law (In re Zappos.com Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 16-16860, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the wake of the recent revelation that 50 million Facebook users had their personal information shared with a politically tied analytics firm, a group of 37 state attorneys general (AGs) on March 26 submitted a letter to Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, demanding answers and assurances regarding the social network’s privacy policies and protections.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the U.S. Supreme Court’s March 26 denial of certiorari, a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that granted a deceased man’s siblings access to his Yahoo email account under the “lawful consent” exception to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) will stand, with the high court declining to consider arguments over user consent and privacy (Oath Holdings Inc. v. Marianne Ajemian, et al., No. 17-1005, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 1936).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a March 22 reply brief, two objectors to the settlement of privacy class claims against Google LLC ask the U.S. Supreme to grant their petition for certiorari to address the fairness of cy pres settlements that provide no relief or compensation to the class at large (Theodore H. Frank, et al. v. Paloma Gaos, et al., No. 17-961, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Following a recent revelation by Facebook Inc. that millions of its social network users’ personal information was shared with a third-party analytics firm with political ties, a Facebook user on March 20 filed a class complaint against the social network in California federal court, alleging negligence and unfair competition (Lauren Price v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 5:18-cv-01732, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO — Travel-booking website operator Orbitz LLC on March 20 announced its recent discovery of a data security incident that potentially compromised the personal information of up to 880,000 of the users of www.orbitz.com.
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A marketing presentation that was sought in discovery by the plaintiffs in a putative privacy class action over Vizio Inc. smart TVs is not protected by attorney-client privilege, a California federal magistrate ruled in a March 13 in chambers order, finding the presentation to be business-oriented and not pertaining to legal advice (In Re: Vizio Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 8:16-ml-02693, C.D. Calif.).
MENLO PARK, Calif. — In a March 16 press release, Facebook Inc. announced that user data that a third-party app developer improperly shared with an analytics firm in 2015 had not been destroyed despite assurances it had received to the contrary.