Mealey's Data Privacy

  • August 21, 2020

    Split Remand Ruling By Federal Magistrate Judge In Fingerprint Collection Suit

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A federal magistrate judge on Aug. 19 issued a split ruling on a remand motion by a former indoor trampoline park employee who alleges in a putative class complaint that her employer and the company that it uses for a fingerprint collection system violated two sections of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), finding that Article III of the U.S. Constitution standing was shown for claims under only one of the two sections (Madisyn Stauffer, et al. v. Innovative Heights Fairview Heights, LLC, et al., No. 20-46, S.D. Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149460).

  • August 21, 2020

    Cops Claiming DPPA Violations Over Newspaper's Postings Denied Bid For Damages

    CHICAGO — Although an Illinois federal judge previously found that the Chicago Sun-Times was partly liable under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) for the online publication of certain personal information of five Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers, the judge on Aug. 14 found that the officers had not established that they were entitled to punitive or liquidated damages under the statute, denying their motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) (Scott Dahlstrom, et al. v. Sun-Times Media LLC, No. 1:12-cv-00658, N,D, Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147498).

  • August 20, 2020

    $650 Million Settlement Of Facebook Biometric Privacy Class Suit Gets Initial OK

    SAN FRANCISCO — After denying approval in June to the first draft of a proposed settlement in a class action over Facebook Inc.'s utilization of facial scans in a photo-tagging feature, a California federal judge on Aug. 19 granted preliminary approval to a revised agreement that resolved his earlier concerns, notably increasing the settlement fund from $550 million to $650 million (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).

  • August 20, 2020

    Class Complaint Accuses Meat Processing Facility Of Coronavirus Failures

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California meat processing facility failed to take the steps necessary to protect its employees from the novel coronavirus, hid the initial cases among employees, pressured those who were sick to continue working and later "recklessly disclosed" the private health information of hundreds of employees who were infected, one employee alleges in a class complaint filed July 22 in a federal court in the state (Maria Pilar Ornelas, et al. v. Central Valley Meat Co., Inc., No. 20-1017, E.D. Calif.).

  • August 18, 2020

    Fair Fund Established In Facebook SEC Action; Tax Administrator Appointed

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Aug. 17 granted a post-judgment motion filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in an enforcement action against Facebook Inc., establishing a fair fund for $100 million in civil penalties the social media giant agreed to pay as part of a consent of final judgment stemming from Facebook's issuance of misrepresentations to investors concealing misuse of its user data by data analytics company Cambridge Analytica (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Facebook Inc., No. 19-4241, N.D. Calif.).

  • August 18, 2020

    $13 Million Google Street View Privacy Settlement Appealed To 9th Circuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A class member who objected to the $13 million settlement of a privacy class action over Google LLC's Street View feature took his fight to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an Aug. 12 brief, arguing that the cy pres-only nature of the settlement ignores the interests of absent class members and runs counter to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (In re Google LLC Street View Electronic Communications Litigation [Benjamin Joffe, et al. v. Google Inc.], No. 20-15616, 9th Cir.).

  • August 13, 2020

    New Jersey High Court: Compelling Phone Passcode Doesn't Violate 5th Amendment

    TRENTON, N.J. — In a divided ruling, a New Jersey Supreme Court majority on Aug. 10 found that a warrant compelling an arrestee to produce the passcode to unlock a smartphone does not violate the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because it does not require a testimonial act that reveals the contents of an individual's mind (New Jersey v. Robert Andrews, No. A-72-18, N.J. Sup., 2020 N.J. LEXIS 898).

  • August 13, 2020

    D.C. Circuit Dismisses CareFirst Data Breach Appeal For Lack Of Jurisdiction

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 11 dismissed the second appeal in a putative privacy class action over a 2014 data breach experienced by CareFirst Inc., concluding that the court lacked jurisdiction because not all of the lead plaintiffs' claims were dismissed by the trial court (Chantal Attias, et al. v. CareFirst Inc., et al., No. 19-7020, D.C. Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 25392).

  • August 12, 2020

    Government Must Complete Discovery In Prisoners' Eavesdropping Suits

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas federal judge on July 27 declined to grant the government's request for a protective order to excuse it from completing purportedly burdensome discovery related to two prisoners' claims of attorney-client privacy violations due to eavesdropping, stating that "[t]he government hasn't persuaded the court of this 'impossibility'" of completing searches of electronically stored information (ESI) (In re:  CCA Recordings 2255 Litigation, No. 2:19-cv-02491, D. Kan., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132254).

  • August 10, 2020

    Trump Issues Executive Orders Banning TikTok, WeChat Apps Over Security Concerns

    WASHINGTON, D.C.  — In a pair of executive orders issued Aug. 6, President Donald J. Trump essentially banned any use within the United States of the popular social networking TikTok and WeChat apps, citing threats to "the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States" from the mobile applications, both of which are owned by companies in the People's Republic of China.

  • August 07, 2020

    Consolidation At Issue In New York, Illinois Clearview Biometric Collection Suits

    NEW YORK — Responding to a motion by Clearview AI Inc. to extend time to answer several class complaints against it, a New York federal judge on Aug. 4 issued an order clarifying that the deadlines to respond are adjourned sine die in light of an upcoming conference that will address all six biometric privacy suits against Clearview pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Mario Calderon, et al. v. Clearview AI Inc., No. 1:20-cv-01296, S.D. N.Y.).

  • August 06, 2020

    Federal Judge Declines To Remand Privacy Suit Against Pittsburgh Hospital

    PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh hospital properly removed a putative privacy class action against it to federal court under the federal officer removal statute, a Pennsylvania federal judge found July 31, denying a motion to remand the lawsuit over the sharing of patient data to state court (Jane Doe I, et al. v. UPMC, No. 2:20-cv-00359, W.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136077).

  • August 04, 2020

    VIZIO Seeks Coverage From Insurers For Smart TV Litigation Costs, Settlement

    LOS ANGELES — VIZIO Inc. on July 30 sued its insurers in a California federal court, seeking defense and indemnity for an underlying $17 million settlement and defense costs arising from class claims over the insured's unauthorized collections of consumers' television viewing data (VIZIO Inc. v.  Navigators Insurance Company, et al., No. 20-6864, C.D. Calif.).

  • August 04, 2020

    Amended Class Complaint Accuses Zoom Of Lax Security, Data Sharing

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a consolidated class complaint filed July 30 in California federal court, a group of users of Zoom Video Communications Inc.'s videoconferencing products accuse the company of "an egregious invasion of their privacy" via the collection and sharing of their personal data with third parties and for failing to protect their video conferences from interception and intrusion by "bad actors" (In re:  Zoom Video Communications Inc. Privacy Litigation, No. 5:20-cv-02155, N.D. Calif.).

  • July 29, 2020

    Class Sues, Seeks TRO In Suit Over Data Breach Of Unemployment Site

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The company hired by Arkansas to create and maintain the unemployment website for self-employed and gig workers seeking benefits during the novel coronavirus pandemic failed to prevent a data breach, resulting in frozen accounts for those seeking the aid and exposure to identity theft, three individuals allege in their putative class complaint and emergency motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) filed July 14 in an Arkansas court (Samuel Acker, et al. v. Protech Solutions, Inc., No. 60CV-20-3858, Ark. Cir., Pulaski Co.).

  • July 24, 2020

    Settlement Fund In Facebook 'Tag Suggestions' Class Action Raised To $650 Million

    SAN FRANCISCO — After a California federal judge denied preliminary approval to a proposed $550 million settlement of a class action over Facebook Inc.'s collection of biometric identifiers in its photo "Tag Suggestions" feature, the social network on July 22 filed a notice of amended stipulation of the agreement that increased the settlement fund to $650 million (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).

  • July 23, 2020

    Wikimedia Appeals State Secrets Ruling Over NSA Surveillance To 4th Circuit

    RICHMOND, Va. — In its second appeal to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Wikimedia Foundation says in a July 1 brief that a trial court incorrectly applied the state secrets privilege in disposing of its constitutional claims over the National Security Agency's (NSA) upstream surveillance program that it says included the interception of its communications (Wikimedia Foundation v. National Security Agency, et al., No. 20-1191, 4th Cir.).

  • July 23, 2020

    Police Officers Request Damages For Sun-Times Publication Of Information

    CHICAGO — In a July 21 reply brief supporting their motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) in Illinois federal court, five officers with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) assert that they are entitled to an award of liquidated damages for prevailing on their Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) claim against the Chicago Sun-Times for publishing their personal information (Scott Dahlstrom, et al. v. Sun-Times Media LLC, No. 1:12-cv-00658, N.D. Ill.).

  • July 23, 2020

    Our Data Is An Asset, Say ERISA Plan Participants In Row Over Fiduciary Claims

    GALVESTON, Texas — In a July 6 opposition to a motion to dismiss, four participants in a 401(k) plan for Shell Oil Co. employees argue to a Texas federal court that their personal data counts as a plan asset and that a group of Fidelity-related companies, one of which serves as the plan's record-keeper, is contradicting common law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and three decades of Fidelity's own judicial representations in arguing otherwise (Charles Harmon v. Shell Oil Co., No. 3:20-cv-0021, S.D. Texas).

  • July 23, 2020

    Checkers Settles Data Breach Class Action For Reimbursements, Food Vouchers

    TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on June 30 preliminarily approved the settlement of class claims against the operator of the Checkers and Rally's fast-food chains by two customers over a data breach, with the agreement providing relief in the form of cash reimbursements for expenses, food vouchers to the restaurants and chainwide data security measures (Breandan Cotter, et al. v. Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc., No. 8:19-cv-01386, M.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121223).

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