OAKLAND, Calif. — Finding that certain date and time data collected by a sex toy app constituted record information, rather than the contents of a communication, a California federal judge on May 15 dismissed in part claims against a “sextech” company under the Wiretap Act, while holding that “vibration intensity” data, which was allegedly collected without user consent, qualified as communications and could support a claim under the statute (S.D. v. Hytto Ltd., No. 4:18-cv-00688, N.D. Calif.).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A hospital’s motion to dismiss putative class claims over the unintentional disclosure of patients’ protected health information (PHI) was partly granted May 16, when a Missouri federal judge found that the lead plaintiff did not establish the existence of a contract that was breached by the data disclosure (K.A. v. Children’s Mercy Hospital, No. 4:18-cv-00514, W.D. Mo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82725).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on May 17 denied a commercial general liability insurer’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on Yahoo! Inc.’s bad faith and bad faith damages claims, finding that there is a “legally sufficient evidentiary basis” for a jury to determine that the insurer acted in bad faith in its handling of underlying class actions filed against Yahoo over its practice of scanning the content of emails (Yahoo! Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 17-00489, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83811).
OAKLAND, Calif. — In May 16 reply briefs supporting their respective motions to dismiss, Google LLC, Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. tell a California federal court that two plaintiffs alleging the improper collection and use of their mobile devices’ location data have essentially admitted that any such data was obtained via their devices’ internet protocol (IP) addresses and not by any actions taken by the defendants (Brendan Lundy, et al. v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 4:18-cv-06793, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Seven months after a California federal judge preliminarily approved settlement of a class action against Intuit Inc. over a 2014 data breach, the same judge granted final approval May 15 to the settlement, which provides more than $2.8 million in costs, attorney fees and service awards (In re Intuit Data Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-01778, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Two months after the U.S. Supreme Court remanded a privacy class action against Google LLC for lack of jurisdiction, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 13 granted a motion by Google to further remand the case for a determination of whether the class ever established that it had standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (In re: Google Referrer Header Privacy Litigation, No. 15-15858, 9th Cir.).
TACOMA, Wash. — Plaintiffs, referred to only as John Does, who filed a class complaint against Washington officials seeking to stop the release of the names and addresses of individuals who participated in the state’s bump stock buy-back program, filed a notice of voluntary dismissal on May 2 (John Doe 1, et al. v. John R. Batiste, et al., No. 19-5334, W.D. Wash.).
NEWARK, N.J. — A month after a judge changed the dismissal of a Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) complaint against J. Crew Group Inc. to without prejudice, a New Jersey man filed a third amended complaint (TAC) May 14 over the retailer’s purported printing of too many credit card digits on receipts, telling a New Jersey federal court that he suffered damages from a heightened risk of identity theft and because he can “no longer merely throw out his credit card receipts” (Ahmed Kamal v. J. Crew Group Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-00190, D. N.J.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Following a hearing on its motion to dismiss and court-ordered depositions of the lead plaintiffs, Facebook Inc. argues in a May 13 supplemental brief in California federal court that a putative class action over a 2018 breach of the social network’s account “view as” feature merits dismissal for a failure to plead any injuries whatsoever (Jasper Schmidt, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:18-cv-05982, N.D. Calif.).
INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana federal court on May 9 granted a motion by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to unseal a grand jury indictment that was filed two days earlier against two residents of China that are charged with partaking in large-scale data breaches of Anthem Inc. and three other companies (United States v. Fujie Wang, et al., No. 1:19-cv-00153, S.D. Ind.).
BALTIMORE — With the filing of a May 2 putative class complaint against T-Mobile US Inc. in Maryland federal court, four major cellular carriers have been hit with lawsuits for allegedly selling their customers’ geolocation data to third-party data aggregators (Shawnay Ray, et al. v. T-Mobile US Inc., No. 1:19-cv-01299, D. Md.).
PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 26 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of complaints alleging that insurers violated the Stored Communications Act (SCA) when they gained unauthorized access to the plaintiff’s personal information from a website, finding that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim that the website, database or server functioned as an electronic communication service (ECS) provider under the SCA (Hector Casillas v. Cypress Insurance Company, et al., Nos. 17-56065 and 17-56071, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 12583).
LOS ANGELES — Two months after a California federal judge struck her amended complaint against Delta Air Lines Inc. and a customer service business partner over a 2017 data breach as untimely, a Florida woman on April 29 refiled her complaint alleging breach of contract and computer fraud two weeks after being granted leave to amend (Teresa J. McGarry v. Delta Air Lines Inc., et al., No. 2:18-cv-09827, C.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — In a brief filed May 1 in California federal court, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) requests review and vacatur of a magistrate’s order declining to compel suspects to unlock seized electronic devices by biometric means, arguing that even though a new warrant was issued in the underlying case, the matter is not moot because it will certainly arise in future investigations (In re Search of a Residence in Oakland, Calif., No. 4:19-mj-70053, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A class of plaintiffs who sued Google LLC for privacy violations and two class members who objected to a cy pres-only settlement of the class claims filed briefs with the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 2, opposing the tech giant’s motion to remand the case to the original trial court for a finding of whether the class has standing following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to not rule on whether the settlement was fair due to uncertainty over the class’ standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (In re: Google Referrer Header Privacy Litigation, No. 15-15858, 9th Cir.).
ATLANTA — In an April 30 reply brief, three Native American tribes defend their motion to establish a separate track for tribal governments in the multidistrict litigation against Equifax Inc. over its 2017 data breach, arguing to a Georgia federal court that a history of financial discrimination has caused heightened harm to them that necessitates separate class representation and unique discovery (In Re: Equifax Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:17-md-2800, N.D. Ga.).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 29 allowed most expert testimony for a man who filed a class action against a county and its prison for publishing his mugshot and disorderly conduct arrest information in an online prisoner lookup tool more than a decade after the charges had been expunged (Daryoush Taha v. Bucks County, et al., No. 12-6867, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71553).
TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal judge on April 29 scheduled a hearing for May 2 on a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) filed in a lawsuit by two Washington residents, referred to only as John Does, seeking to prevent the release of the names and addresses of individuals who participated in the state’s bump stock buy-back program (John Doe 1, et al. v. John R. Batiste, et al., No. 19-5334, W.D. Wash.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 25 allowed most expert testimony being challenged and then mostly denied summary judgment to a customer and a bank in their dispute over alleged fraudulent accounts opened under the customer’s name by a bank employee (Samuel Liera Soria v. U.S. Bank N.A., No. 8:17-cv-00603, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70068).
ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 22 vacated its October 2018 opinion in an appeal filed by two objectors to a $6.3 million settlement by Godiva Chocolatier Inc. to end class claims over receipts and issued a new one in its place, once more affirming the settlement but rewriting the portion of the opinion addressing the lead plaintiff’s standing (Dr. David S. Muransky, et al. v. Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., Nos. 16-16486 and 16-16783, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 11630).