Judge Grants Preliminary Approval to $13M Settlement in Google Street View Privacy Case

$13M Proposed Settlement in Google Street View Privacy Case

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…]

13M Proposed Settlement in Google Street View Privacy Case

$13M Proposed Settlement in Google Street View Privacy Case

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…]

Michael Sobol Named a Top California Cybersecurity Lawyer for the Second Year Running

Daily Journal Names Michael Sobol a Top California Cybersecurity Lawyer for 2019

The Daily Journal (subscription) has published its second annual “Top Cyber/Artificial Intelligence Lawyers” supplement, a listing that includes Lieff Cabraser partner Michael W. Sobol as one of 20 lawyers “at the forefront of Cybersecurity law in California.” [Read more…]

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…]

Annika K. Martin Speaks at ABA 12th Annual National Institute on E-Discovery

Annika K. Martin Speaks at ABA 12th Annual National Institute on E-Discovery

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…]

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…]

Daily Journal Names Michael Sobol a Top California Cybersecurity Lawyer for 2018

Daily Journal Names Michael Sobol a Top California Cybersecurity Lawyer for 2018

The Daily Journal (subscription) has published its 2018 “Top Cyber/Artificial Intelligence Lawyers” supplement, a listing that includes a profile of Lieff Cabraser partner Michael W. Sobol as one of 20 lawyers “on the cutting edge of Cybersecurity law in California.” [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…]

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…]

New Research Suggests At Least One-Half of Children’s Gaming Apps Violate Privacy Laws

New Research Suggests At Least One-Third of Children’s Gaming Apps Violate COPPA Privacy Laws

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…]

Federal Trade Commission Orders Toy Makers to Comply with Children’s Privacy Rules

Federal Trade Commission Orders Toy Makers to Comply with Children’s Privacy Rules

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…]

Class Action Settlement Announced in Google Message Scanning Privacy Lawsuit

Class Action Settlement Announced in Google Message Scanning Privacy Lawsuit

A settlement has been reached in the class action digital privacy litigation against Google Inc. regarding claims that the popular Gmail service scanned some outgoing user email messages to build marketing profiles and serve targeted ads. [Read more…]

Plaintiff Class Seeks Certification in Facebook Message Scanning Privacy Lawsuit

Plaintiff Class Seeks Certification in Facebook Message Scanning Privacy Lawsuit

At a March 16 hearing, U.S. District Chief Judge Phyllis Hamilton heard arguments from user and company attorneys with regard to whether or not she should certify a class action against Facebook Inc. for claims of privacy violations. Plaintiffs accuse the social media giant of unlawfully scanning users’ personal and private direct messages without their consent to capture data on web links.

[Read more…]

Court Approves $13 Million Settlement in “Add Connections” LinkedIn Lawsuit

Court Approves $13 Million Settlement in "Add Connections" LinkedIn Lawsuit

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.

[Read more…]

California Personal Data Breaches Top 24 Million

California Personal Data Breaches Top 24 Million

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…]

Federal Government, Apple Clash Over Cell Phone Data Access and Security

Apple Federal Court Order Sheds Light on Digital Privacy

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.

[Read more…]

No, VTech Cannot Simply Absolve Itself of Security Responsibility

VTech Cannot Simply Absolve Itself of Security Responsibility

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.

[Read more…]

Internet-Connected Toys for Kids Risk Exposure to Hackers

Internet-Connected Toys for Kids Risk Exposure to Hackers

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…]