FTC Seeks Authority to Impose Meaningful Civil Penalties on Companies Breaking Consumer Protection & Data Security Laws

FTC Civil Penalties on Companies Breaking Consumer Protection & Data Security Laws

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently appeared before the House subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection to request the power to impose meaningful civil penalties on companies that violate the nation’s data security and privacy protection laws. Currently, the FTC cannot impose fines on companies over privacy issues; however, if the public wants to see companies handle their sensitive information diligently, “the agency needs the ability to slap violators with fines and have more freedom to pass rules,” notes Law360. [Read more…]

Child Advocacy Groups File FTC Complaint Over YouTube Child Privacy Violations

COPPA Child Privacy Violations Lawsuit

On April 9, 2018, a coalition of over 20 public interest child advocacy groups including the Center for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission asking that the FTC begin a formal investigation of YouTube for significant violations of U.S. child privacy laws. [Read more…]

Fabrice Vincent Examines Standing Issues in Data Theft Cases

Fabrice Vincent Examines Standing Issues in Data Theft Cases

Lieff Cabraser partner Fabrice N. Vincent spoke recently with the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Litigation about digital privacy and the seemingly unending series of hacker attacks plaguing large companies and data stores across the world. “Your Data Was Stolen But Not Your Identity (Yet),” highlights Vincent’s thoughts on cyberattacks and the challenges inherent to keeping our identities safe in an ever-changing digital landscape. [Read more…]

New Federal Bill Seeks Jail Time for Nondisclosure of Data Breaches

Data Security Breaches

Wired reports on a new bill introduced in the Senate that wants to make nondisclosure of data breaches a jailable offense nationwide. Some states already have statutory penalties for companies that seek to hide data breaches, but the new bill would set a uniform approach for all 50 states. Under the current terms of the bill, failure to come forward within 30 days of a breach could lead to up to 5 years in prison for executives who attempt to cover up attacks leading to the improper exposure of private personal data. [Read more…]

Law360 Expert Analysis: COPPA Child Privacy Laws and Related Litigation

COPPA Child Privacy Laws and Related Litigation

Law360 has published an expert analysis piece on the state of privacy litigation under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 6501 et seq. The statute imposes strict requirements on commercial websites and online services that collect or maintain the personal information of children under the age of 13. The restrictions also apply to third-party vendors who acquire or otherwise interact with any of that information. Lieff Cabraser has been a forerunner in pursuing litigation on behalf of parents whose children’s data has been improperly acquired, shared, and monetized in a series of lawsuits against companies like Viacom and The Walt Disney Company as well as the creators of some vastly popular children’s games and apps like Subway Surfers. [Read more…]

Michael Sobol Named NLJ Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazer

Michael Sobol Named NLJ Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazer Award

The National Law Journal (NLJ) has named Lieff Cabraser partner Michael W. Sobol a 2017 Cybersecurity & Data Privacy “Trailblazer.” The third annual Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazers listing is a special supplement to the The National Law Journal with profiles of 25 individuals “who have helped make a difference in the fight against criminal cyber activity and towards adding much needed layers of data security in an increasingly digital world of commerce.” [Read more…]

Domestic Violence Victims Get New Tool to Fight Back Against Cyber Abuse

Domestic Violence Victims Get New Tool to Fight Back Against Cyber Abuse

The 3rd District Court of Appeal has ruled that a woman can get a restraining order against her ex-husband despite living thousands of miles away – “a first-of-its-kind decision that will give victims a new tool to use to fight back against cyber abuse,” reported The Daily Journal. [Read more…]

Ninth Circuit Rules Verizon Customers Can Sue Turn Inc. Over Hidden “Zombie Cookies”

Ninth Circuit Rules Verizon Customers Can Sue Turn Inc. Over Hidden "Zombie Cookies"

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a contract arbitration clause that Verizon imposed on its subscriber customers cannot bar a class action against internet advertiser Turn, Inc. over data collected from customers without their knowledge or permission. Online advertising company Turn is being sued by Verizon Wireless cellular subscribers in federal court in California over privacy violations on claims that the company improperly monitored and tracked consumers’ online behavior through their phones. Turn allegedly attached hidden undeletable “zombie” tracking cookies to harvest customers’ web browsing and usage data. [Read more…]

Mattel Cancels Plans to Sell New Smart-Home Device for Kids Due to Child Privacy Concerns

Mattel Cancels Plans to Sell New Smart-Home Device for Kids Due to Child Privacy Concerns

Multinational toy manufacturer Mattel has announced the cancellation of plans to sell a child-focused smart-home hub device due to privacy concerns. The company states it will not placing the Aristotle product on the market because it “didn’t fully align with Mattel’s new technology strategy,” according to the Washington Post. The toy giant faced a significant outcry from child privacy advocates after initial announcements of Aristotle’s wide range of functions and information-gathering capabilities. [Read more…]

Ninth Circuit Ruling Revives Class Action Status for Turn Inc. Smartphone “Supercookies” Case

Ninth Circuit Ruling Revives Class Action Status for Turn, Inc. Smartphone ‘Supercookies’ Case

The Ninth Circuit Court has ruled that internet marketing company Turn Inc. cannot use agreements between Verizon and Verizon customers that include mandatory arbitration clauses to shield itself from privacy violation lawsuits over allegedly illegal tracking and exploitative advertising. Consumers generally loathe such “forced arbitration” provisions as they deprive them of their rights to challenge fraud and improper practices in court, relegating their claims instead to what are considered to be biased, paid-for-by-the-offending-companies arbitration hearings. [Read more…]