NEWARK, N.J. - The plaintiffs in a putative privacy class action against Viacom Inc. and Google Inc. related to collection of minors' information via Nickelodeon's websites was dismissed July 2, with a New Jersey federal judge finding claims brought under federal and state laws to be unsupported and improperly pleaded (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, MDL No. 2443, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91286).
SAN FRANCISCO - A group of named plaintiffs have not defined an ascertainable class in their privacy lawsuit against Hulu LLC, a California federal magistrate ruled June 17, denying a motion for class certification (In Re: Hulu Privacy Litigation, No. 3:11-cv-03764, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 12 denied a petition for permission to appeal a District Court's denial of class certification in a lawsuit alleging privacy violations by Google Inc. related to its Gmail email service (Keith Dunbar, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 14-80044, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Referrer header information that was transmitted to third parties along with social network gaming applications did not constitute "confidential user information" or the "contents of [a] communication" and, thus, did not violate the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel concluded on May 8, affirming the dismissal of class actions against Zynga Game Network Inc. and Facebook Inc. (In Re: Zynga Privacy Litigation, No. 11-18044, In Re: Facebook Privacy Litigation, No. 12-15619, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 8662).
SAN FRANCISCO - Referrer header information that was transmitted to third parties along with social network gaming applications did not constitute "confidential user information" or the "contents of $(a$) communication" and, thus, did not violate the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel concluded on May 8, affirming the dismissal of class actions against Zynga Game Network Inc. and Facebook Inc. (In Re: Zynga Privacy Litigation, No. 11-18044, In Re: Facebook Privacy Litigation, No. 12-15619, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 8662).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 26 preliminarily approved a settlement between Google Inc. and the named plaintiffs in a putative class complaint that took issue with Google's use of their personal information related to Web searches (In Re Google Referrer Header Privacy Litigation, No. 10-cv-04809, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41695).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on March 26 dismissed a putative class action brought by a group of minors against Facebook Inc. for alleged misappropriation of their pictures in connection with advertisements, finding that the plaintiffs failed to prove the purported unenforceability of the social network's statement of rights and responsibilities (SRRs), by which consent for such use was granted (C.M.D., et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:12-cv-01216, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Finding that "individual issues of consent are likely to predominate over any common issues" in a lawsuit alleging privacy violations by Google Inc. in the operation of its Gmail email service, a California federal judge on March 18 denied a motion to certify four classes and three subclasses in the putative class action (In Re: Google Inc. Gmail Litigation, No. 5:13-md-02430, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Granting ex parte motions for temporary restraining orders (TROs) filed by the plaintiffs in two different lawsuits against the U.S. government's collection of telephone call data record data, a California federal judge on March 10 ordered that any existing call data records be preserved, despite a March 7 order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that was interpreted as permitting destruction of the data (Carolyn Jewel, et al. v. National Security Agency, et al., No. 3:08-cv-04373, and First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, et al. v. National Security Agency, et al., No. 13-03287, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Although a California federal judge on March 10 found that the putative plaintiffs in a privacy and fraud class action against Google Inc. failed to establish their claim under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), he found their unfair competition claim sufficiently pleaded, granting in part and denying in part Google's motion to dismiss (In Re Google Android Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 3:11-md-00264, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31430).
BATON ROUGE, La. - Because customers voluntarily disclose their subscriber information to Internet service providers (ISPs), a man convicted of possessing child pornography had no expectation of privacy in his subscriber information, a Louisiana appeals panel found Jan. 4, affirming a trial court's decision not to suppress the information supplied by his ISP (State of Louisiana v. Arthur Leon LeBlanc Jr., No. 2013 KA 0202, La. App., 1st Cir.; 2014 La. App. LEXIS 235).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 23 upheld unusual privacy settlement terms that allow the settling company to reimburse itself for "post-settlement claims" from the $75 million settlement fund (In re: Trans Union Corp. Privacy Litigation, No. 13-1613, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1337).
CHICAGO - A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 22 reversed and remanded a district court ruling, concluding that the governor of Wisconsin and his then-spokesman had qualified immunity when they disclosed that the reason the governor rescinded a job offer to a prospective candidate was because she had filed for bankruptcy (Becky S. Chasensky v. Scott Walker, No. 13-1761, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1160).
SAN DIEGO - A wrongful termination plaintiff's request for the personnel files of nine people who provided witness statements during a sexual harassment investigation was denied Jan. 17 by a federal magistrate judge in California, who ruled that the individuals' right to privacy outweighed the plaintiff's need for the information (Dan Grobee v. Corrections Corporation of America, No. 13cv1060-GPC, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6479).
LOS ANGELES - Under California's "shine the light" (STL) privacy law, consumers must actually try to request the required disclosures before an injury exists; a company's failure to provide contact information alone does not suffice, a state appeals court held Dec. 19 in affirming dismissal of California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (David Boorstein v. CBS Interactive Inc., No. B247472, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Stating that the U.S. government's "bulk telephony and metadata collection and analysis almost certainly does violate a reasonable expectation of privacy," a District of Columbia federal judge on Dec. 16 found that two plaintiffs would likely succeed in their Fourth Amendment challenge to this practice, leading the judge to grant in part their motion for a preliminary injunction (Larry Klayman, et al. v. Barrack Hussein Obama, et al., No. 1:13-cv-00851 and 1:13-cv-00881, D. D.C.).