Mealey's Data Privacy

  • December 04, 2023

    Judge Revives Marriott Data Breach Classes, Criticizes Class Action Waiver

    GREENBELT, Md. — Almost four months after the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals vacated a class certification ruling in the multidistrict litigation over the massive data breach experienced by Marriott International Inc., a Maryland federal judge reinstated the certified classes, finding that Marriott forfeited the ability to invoke a class action waiver signed by each of the individual plaintiffs.

  • November 30, 2023

    9th Circuit:  Class Suit Against Shopify Failed To Show Personal Jurisdiction

    SAN FRANCISCO — A putative class complaint accusing a payment processor of violating California privacy and unfair competition laws by concealing that it was collecting, storing and sharing consumers’ personal information failed to establish the trial court’s specific personal jurisdiction over the processor, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled, affirming dismissal.

  • November 27, 2023

    Ohio Man’s ‘Legally Frivolous’ Privacy Suit Over Meta Data Sharing Dismissed

    CINCINNATI — Adopting a magistrate’s recommendation to dismiss, an Ohio federal judge found that a pro se plaintiff’s “meager allegations” against Meta Platforms Inc. over the 2015 Cambridge Analytica data-sharing incident were insufficient to state a claim against the Facebook operator or the British analytics firm.

  • November 20, 2023

    Louisiana High Court Refuses To Review Ruling In Suit Alleging Insured Stole Files

    NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Supreme Court refused to disturb a Louisiana appeals court’s finding that a residential mortgage broker’s electronic loan files are “tangible” under state law and, therefore, can be defined as “‘property’ that is susceptible to ‘loss of use’” under a competitor’s business liability insurance policy, allowing to stand the lower court’s reversal of a summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer that intervened in the broker’s lawsuit alleging that its insured used stolen files to broker mortgage loans for its customers.

  • November 20, 2023

    Dismissal, Protective Order Denied In WhatsApp, NSO Spyware Suit

    OAKLAND, Calif. — An Israeli spyware firm saw two of its motions denied by a California federal judge in a computer fraud suit brought against it by WhatsApp Inc., as she denied a motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens and declined to issue a protective order barring much of the discovery sought by the plaintiff.

  • November 17, 2023

    Meta Again Seeks Dismissal Of Privacy, Trespass Claims In Consolidated Pixel Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two months after Meta Platforms Inc. partly prevailed in a motion to dismiss a consolidated lawsuit over purported data-sharing violations associated with its Pixel product, the tech giant filed a renewed dismissal motion in which it asserts that the plaintiffs did not cure the deficiencies identified by a California federal judge in the previous ruling and “fail to identify any ‘specific, personal or private information they conveyed to their healthcare providers that they reasonably believe Meta received.’”

  • November 14, 2023

    Judge:  South Carolina Woman Sufficiently Alleged Data Breach Notice Wasn’t Timely

    CHICAGO — Although mostly granting a motion to dismiss putative class claims against a digital marketing firm related to a 2022 data breach, an Illinois federal judge held that one of the plaintiffs whose sensitive personal information (SPI) was exposed in the breach adequately alleged violation of a South Carolina data breach notification law.

  • November 10, 2023

    2 Facebook Users Appeal Final Approval Of $725M Profile-Sharing Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — One month after a California federal judge granted final approval to the $725 million settlement agreement with Meta Platforms Inc. in the consolidated privacy class action over the sharing of Facebook users’ profiles with Cambridge Analytica, two of the social network’s users, who had objected to the settlement, filed a notice on Nov. 9 that they are appealing the approval ruling to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • November 07, 2023

    Magistrate Agrees To Seal Sanctions Hearing In Meta Privacy Consolidated Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The California federal magistrate judge overseeing discovery matters in the putative consolidated class action over the alleged sharing of protected health information (PHI) by Meta Platforms Inc. on Nov. 6 provisionally granted the technology firm’s unopposed motion to seal the hearing over whether it should be subject to sanctions for purportedly not providing complete responses to the plaintiffs’ requests for production (RFPs).

  • November 07, 2023

    3rd Circuit Vacates, Remands Attorney Fees Award In Wawa Data Breach Settlement

    PHILADELPHIA — Siding with the lone objector to a settlement of negligence and privacy claims between Wawa Inc. and a class of consumers over a 2019 data breach experienced by the convenience store chain, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in a precedential opinion vacated a $3 million attorney fees award, finding that the trial court did not fully consider all the relevant factors when deeming the award reasonable.

  • November 06, 2023

    1st Amendment, Civil Liberties Amici Back X’s Certiorari Bid Over FBI Surveillance

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Arizona State University (ASU) College of Law First Amendment Clinic filed amicus curiae briefs supporting X Corp. (formerly Twitter Inc.) in its petition for certiorari in which it challenges the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s gag order preventing the social media platform from speaking about its compliance with national security letters (NSLs) they were served with as part of the U.S. government’s domestic surveillance program.

  • November 02, 2023

    9th Circuit:  Privacy Claim Over Ford’s Text Collection Fails For Lack Of Injury

    SEATTLE — Affirming the dismissal of a putative privacy claim against Ford Motor Co., a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found that the plaintiffs did not sufficiently plead an injury under the Washington Privacy Act (WPA) from the purported collection and retention of text messages in vehicles’ on-board memory because they did not claim that the automaker ever accessed the retained messages.

  • November 02, 2023

    9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Vizio’s 4th Amended Complaint On Other Grounds

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of Vizio Inc.’s fourth amended complaint seeking coverage for an underlying $17 million settlement and defense costs arising from class claims alleging unauthorized collections of consumers’ television viewing data, finding that Vizio breached the insurance policy by not soliciting the excess insurer’s consent before settling the underlying lawsuit.

  • November 01, 2023

    Employer Seeks Coverage For Class Action Suit Alleging BIPA Violations

    CHICAGO — An employer sued its insurer in an Illinois federal court seeking commercial general liability and umbrella insurance coverage for an underlying putative class action alleging that it violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by disseminating electronic information derived from the scanning of its employees’ biometric identifiers to third parties without their consent.

  • November 01, 2023

    Judge Gives Initial OK To $62 Million Settlement Of Google Location History Suit

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Following a hearing on a preliminary approval motion filed by the plaintiffs in a class action over Google Inc.’s practice of tracking users’ locations without consent, a California federal judge gave an initial thumbs-up to a proposed $62 million settlement of privacy and intrusion claims against the technology giant.

  • October 26, 2023

    Cy Pres Firms Proposed In $62M Settlement Of Google Location History Suit

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A month after moving for preliminary approval of a proposed $62 million settlement of location-tracking privacy class claims against Google Inc., the named plaintiffs filed a supplemental brief in California federal court enumerating 17 potential cy pres recipients of much of that fund.

  • October 26, 2023

    Judge Allows Invasion Of Privacy Claim For Retailer’s Recording Of Customer Chats

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge refused to dismiss one count for invasion of privacy but dismissed the remainder of a consumer’s putative class claims against a retailer, including for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL), based on the retailer using a third-party company to intercept, duplicate and analyze online chats on the retailer’s website between customers and company representatives.

  • October 26, 2023

    Investors’ Suit Alleging Facebook Lied About User Data Partially Revived

    SAN FRANCISCO — A split panel in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals revived some of the claims made by investors in a suit against the former Facebook Inc. alleging that the company misled investors about privacy and data protection, finding that the investors had adequately pleaded that news about Cambridge Analytica and a practice known as “whitelisting” had contributed to two stock drops in 2018.

  • October 25, 2023

    COMMENTARY: Neurotechnology In The Workplace: A Futuristic Reality

    By Jeremy Ben Merkelson, Wendy Kearns, Michael Borgia and Tanner Harris

  • October 25, 2023

    Judge: Discovery Sought In Remanded WhatsApp Spyware Dispute Is Premature

    OAKLAND, Calif. — In light of a pending dismissal motion and a lack of reciprocal discovery responses, a California federal judge on Oct. 24 denied an Israeli spyware firm’s request that WhatsApp Inc. be required to serve amended responses to its requests for admission (RFAs) in a lawsuit over alleged computer fraud.

  • October 25, 2023

    Massachusetts Centralization Of MOVEit Data Breach Suits Confirmed By JPMDL

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation confirmed its decision to consolidate dozens of lawsuits related to breaches of the MOVEit app in Massachusetts federal court, finding that the actions “involve questions of fact that are common to the” suits.

  • October 20, 2023

    Judge Denies Injunction In UCL Health Care Data Case Against Google

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Plaintiffs’ privacy and California unfair competition law (UCL) claims appear to turn on whether Google LLC simply acquires health information as a vendor or actually uses that data in some fashion, a federal judge said while concluding that the balance of hardships weighs against granting a motion for a preliminary injunction.  In their complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Google’s own artificial intelligence suggested that Google’s collection of health data might run afoul of various laws.

  • October 20, 2023

    Dollar General Will Pay $1M To Settle EEOC Disability Bias, GINA Lawsuit

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A variety store chain will pay $1 million and provide other relief to settle a case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a federal court in Alabama alleging that its hiring practices violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), the EEOC announced Oct. 20.

  • October 19, 2023

    Google: UCL Plaintiffs Can’t Show Violations, Injury In Bard AI Chatbot Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — Class action plaintiffs who complain that Google LLC trained artificial intelligence chatbot Bard on personal and copyrighted information trade “prolixity for precision,” fail to allege a privacy or property interest in material publicly posted on the internet and lack sufficient allegations that they read a privacy policy or can demonstrate an underlying statutory violation, the company says in a motion to dismiss unfair competition law (UCL), copyright and other claims filed in a California federal court.

  • October 19, 2023

    $23 Million Google Referrer Header Privacy Suit Settlement Gets Final OK

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — More than eight years after approving an initial $8.5 million settlement with Google LLC in a consolidated privacy class action that subsequently went to the U.S. Supreme Court and back, a California federal judge granted final approval to a revised settlement, now valued at $23 million, of claims over alleged data-sharing by the referrer headers associated with Google’s search engine.