CHICAGO - A sex toy maker accused of wrongfully collecting highly sensitive personal information about its consumers' usage of its products seeks to settle a class complaint for approximately $3.75 million, the plaintiffs state in a motion for preliminary approval of the class action settlement filed March 9 in an Illinois federal court (N.P., et al. v. Standard Innovation [US], Corp., d/b/a We-Vibe, No. 16-8655, N.D. Ill.).
BENTONVILLE, Ark. - In an Arkansas judge's March 6 order, it was disclosed that Amazon.com Inc. submitted to law enforcement the recordings from an Amazon Echo device belonging to a murder defendant in compliance with a police warrant that Amazon previously sought to quash under privacy and free speech concerns (State of Arkansas v. James A. Bates, No. CR-2016-370-2, Ark. Cir., Benton Co.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Finding that Vizio Inc. qualifies as a "video tape service provider" under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), a California federal judge on March 2 denied dismissal of a putative class claim under the statute for the purported disclosure of consumers' personally identifiable information (PII) via the firm's smart TVs (In Re: Vizio, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 8:16-ml-02693, C.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - In a March 1 motion in California federal court, the plaintiffs in a class action accusing Facebook Inc. of privacy violations in its scanning of users' private messages (PMs) seek preliminary approval of a settlement with the social network, noting changes that Facebook has made to its allegedly illegal practices (Matthew Campbell, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:13-cv-05996, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - The city of Chicago on Feb. 28 asked an Illinois federal court to quash some of the discovery requests served on it by a newspaper alleged to have violated the Drivers Privacy and Protection Act (DPPA), arguing that some of the documents are protected by an earlier court order and the attorney-client privilege (Scott Dahlstrom, et al. v. Sun-Times Media LLC, No. 1:12-cv-00658, N.D. Ill.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Feb. 27 denied a motion by Google Inc. to dismiss two putative class complaints alleging that it violated Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) via facial recognition capability in its "Google Photos" feature, with the judge finding that the plaintiffs sufficiently alleged that Google collected their "biometric identifiers" (Lindabeth Rivera v. Google Inc., No. 1:16-cv-02714, and Joseph Weiss v. Google Inc., No. 1:16-cv-02870, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27276).
SAN FRANCISCO - The rights of the public, the press and the class she is seeking to represent outweigh the privacy interests of the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit accusing NFL Enterprises LLC and individual teams of conspiring to suppress the wages of cheerleaders, a California federal judge ruled Feb. 22, denying the plaintiff's motion to proceed using a pseudonym (Jane Doe, et al. v. NFL Enterprises LLC, et al., No. 17-496, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24991).
BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Citing privacy and free speech concerns, Amazon.com Inc. in a Feb. 17 motion in Arkansas court seeks to quash a police department warrant ordering production of sound recordings and transcripts associated with an Amazon Echo device belonging to the defendant in a murder case (State of Arkansas v. James A. Bates, No. CR-2016-370-2, Benton Co., Ark. Cir. Ct.).
MINNEAPOLIS - The trustees of Boston University on Feb. 6 told the federal judge overseeing the National Hockey League concussion multidistrict litigation that the league has failed to "demonstrate with specificity" why it needs the research and autopsy reports conducted by the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center (CTE Center) and that compelling those documents would violate the privacy of the research subjects (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - On Jan. 31, Yahoo! Inc. sued its commercial general liability (CGL) provider in California federal court, alleging breach of contract and bad faith related to the insurer's decision not to defend or indemnify the internet firm in four class actions alleging privacy violations in certain email-scanning practices (Yahoo! Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 5:17-cv-00489, N.D. Calif.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A proposed $5.5 million cy pres settlement of a class action over the tracking cookie practices of Google Inc. was approved by a Delaware federal judge Feb. 2, with requests for awards of attorney fees and incentive awards being granted and a lone objection to the settlement being overruled (In Re: Google Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 1:12-md-02358, D. Del.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an answer filed Jan. 23 in District of Columbia federal court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation denied a privacy group's allegations that it violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by not timely providing requested documents about the bureau's biometrics program (Electronic Privacy Information Center v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, No. 1:16-cv-02237, D. D.C.).
MIAMI - A former law enforcement officer's privacy claims under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) and related civil rights claims were properly dismissed as barred by the statute of limitations, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 9, finding that the claims accrued on the date that the purported violations occurred (Shaun Foudy, et al. v. Indian River County Sheriff's Office, et al., No. 15-14646, 15-14659 and 15-15015, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 369)
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The plaintiffs in a class action against computer manufacturer Lenovo (United States) Inc. on Dec. 9 moved in California federal court for preliminary approval of a settlement with the co-defendant that designed the spyware at the heart of the lawsuit's computer fraud and invasion of privacy claims (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02624, N.D. Calif.).
ERIE, Pa. - In a Dec. 2 reply brief supporting their motion for class certification, a Wyoming couple, who unknowingly purchased a laptop with spyware installed on it, tells a Pennsylvania federal court that their complaint against the laptop seller for violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) merits class treatment because of "the ability to answer predominating common questions in a uniform manner" in compliance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-00101, W.D. Pa.).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a Dec. 1 brief opposing motions to dismiss her putative class action in California federal court against National Basketball Association team the Golden State Warriors, a plaintiff argues that she has sufficiently alleged a concrete injury under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) in the interception of her private communications via the Warriors' smartphone app (LaTisha Satchell v. Sonic Notify Inc. d/b/a Signal360, et al., No.3:16-cv-04961, N.D. Calif.).
MIAMI - In a putative class complaint filed Nov. 22 in Florida federal court, a smartphone owner alleges that his phone's manufacturer and a firmware provider violated privacy and warranty laws by intercepting and transmitting his personal information without authorization to a Chinese server (Aaron Bonds v. Blu Products Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-24892, S.D. Fla.).
NEWARK, N.J. - In a Nov. 22 reply brief in New Jersey federal court, Viacom Inc. argues that it is entitled to summary judgment on the sole remaining intrusion upon seclusion claim in a remanded putative class action over purported collection of personally identifiable information (PII) from minors because the evidence clearly shows that it did not collect any "real-world identifying details" about users of its Nickelodeon websites (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 2:12-cv-07829, D. N.J.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook Inc. on Nov. 11 filed an amended answer in a putative class action brought against it under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), with the social network operator raising a new affirmative defense that the Illinois statute violates the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution as applied by the plaintiffs (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In an Oct. 27 ruling, a California federal judge permitted computer fraud, invasion of privacy and consumer-related claims against Lenovo (United States) Inc. related to the installation of laptop spyware to proceed, while dismissing wiretap and negligence claims. The judge also granted certification of nationwide and statewide indirect purchaser classes, but denied certification for a direct purchaser class (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02624, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149958).