At a March 3rd hearing, the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals upheld a class action settlement resolving claims over Facebook’s allegedly inappropriate collection of data from users’ private messages and then profits by improperly sharing that information with third parties in violation of U.S. privacy laws. The court rejected an argument made by a single class member objector who claimed the deal was of negligible value to Facebook users. [Read more…]
As reported by Law360 (subscription), a California federal judge has granted preliminary approval to a proposed $13 million cy press settlement of the federal multidistrict litigation accusing Google LLC of illegally gathering Wi-Fi network data via its Street View vehicles. As part of the settlement, Google agrees to fund online privacy organizations and educate the public about encrypted networks. [Read more…]
As reported by Law360 (subscription), on Friday, July 22, 2019, the parties proposed a $13 million settlement in the federal multidistrict litigation accusing Google LLC of illegally gathering Wi-Fi network data with its Street View vehicles. As part of the settlement, Google agreed to fund online privacy organizations and educate the public about encrypted networks. [Read more…]
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…]
Lieff Cabraser partner Annika K. Martin will be appearing at the American Bar Association (ABA) 12th Annual National Institute on E-Discovery on May 18, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Martin will speak on the panel “Careful What You Wish For: Protecting Data Security in Discovery” at 8:15am EST. [Read more…]
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…]
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…]
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…]
When parents download a “Designed for Families” gaming app for their children, they assume the game will not only be suitable for their children to play, but that their kids’ personal information will be kept secure. Indeed, federal law requires that child data be stringently protected in all online and internet-connected gaming. Disturbingly, however, new research highlighted in a Washington Post article “We Tested Apps For Children; Half Failed To Protect Their Data” reveals that at least one-half of children’s gaming apps violate the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by accessing and improperly sharing and monetizing child data in game apps. [Read more…]
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is once again warning toy makers that their products must adhere to children’s privacy rules. In the wake of widespread media reports highlighting privacy dangers in child toys, including the exposure of voice recordings in toy pets and child data leaked from mobile apps and games, there has been increased scrutiny from lawmakers regarding the invasion of children’s privacy. [Read more…]
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has granted final approval to a $13 million settlement against LinkedIn reached last fall. Plaintiffs said the popular businesses networking company was spamming users’ email with too many invitations regarding its services without proper consent, reported Bloomberg BNA.
Nearly three in five individuals residing in California became victims of a data breach in 2015, according to the California Data Breach Report published this month. The number of data breaches has increased over time, going from 131 incidents reported in 2012 (involving the records of 2.6 million Californians) to 178 breaches in 2015 with over 24 million records and individuals affected. [Read more…]
FBI San Bernardino terrorism investigation runs up against privacy rights
Following a deadly terrorist attack that killed 14 Americans in late 2015, a federal judge has ordered Apple to create software to override digital security functions on the iPhones of the alleged perpetrators, setting off a huge controversy around digital security, privacy rights, and the government’s reach in criminal investigations.
Tech blogger Troy Hunt has published a scathing piece on Hong Kong-based electronic toy maker VTech for what he calls “allowing itself to be hacked” in November 2015, resulting in the exposure of the personal information of more than 2.8 million children. Though bad now, the damage may well grow far worse as the hackers store this data against the children coming of age over the next few years, at which point their adult status will skyrocket the potential harm as accounts and other financial operations may be made in their names and with their full identity records.
Security issues and flaws relating to Internet-connected children’s toys are on the rise. Last year, more than 6 million children’s names, ages, and genders were disclosed when the leading manufacturer and distributor of digital learning toys, VTech, suffered a simple but devastating hack to its databases. A similar attack on allegedly insecure data stores affected Hello Kitty’s San Rio Town in late 2015 as well. [Read more…]