SAN JOSE, Calif. - Four months after a prior proposed settlement with Google Inc. was rejected by a California federal judge, the lead plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging privacy violations in the scanning and processing of emails of non-Gmail users on July 21 submitted a revised proposed settlement that they say "requires Google to make significant business practice changes that will benefit" class members while retaining their ability to pursue monetary claims under the asserted statutes (Daniel Matera, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 5:15-cv-04062, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A department store did not meet its burden to show that the contact information of employees is not subject to discovery in a wage-and-hour representative suit, the California Supreme Court held July 13, rejecting arguments of overbreadth and privacy violations and vacating the rulings of an appeals court and a trial court (Michael Williams v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County and Marshalls of CA LLC, No. S227228, Calif. Sup., 2017 Cal. LEXIS 5124).
PHILADELPHIA - In a July 5 amicus curiae brief in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a group of 11 state attorneys general (AGs) support reversal of a trial court's approval of a $5.5 million cy pres settlement of a privacy class action over cookie placement on users' computers by Google Inc., echoing a lone objector's position that controlling case law favors settlements benefiting class members over cy pres recipients (In Re: Google Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 17-1480, 3rd Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - After five years of litigation, a California federal judge on July 6 granted preliminary approval to a $5.3 million settlement between a class of Apple Inc. device users and the developers of apps that allegedly accessed users' private address books without permission (Marc Opperman, et al. v. Kong Technologies Inc., et al., No. 3:13-CV-00453, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104507).
SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook Inc. on June 19 moved to renew a motion to stay discovery in a putative class action alleging that the social network violated Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which it originally filed in California federal court in February, arguing that a pending Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling could be dispositive of disputed jurisdictional questions and could moot the plaintiffs' discovery requests (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California appeals panel on June 9 affirmed a trial court's ruling that a patient, who alleged that a health care provider violated her privacy when it submitted her private health records as exhibits to a complaint in a debt collection action, did not err when it refused to award her fees because she could not show a probability of prevailing on her claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action (Kathleen Leonard v. Retailer's Credit Association of Grass Valley, Inc., No. C079880, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3949).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its May 22 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a newspaper's petition for certiorari over privacy rights connected to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for booking photos, letting stand a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that found an FOIA exemption protecting certain "embarrassing" facts from disclosure (Detroit Free Press Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice, No. 16-706, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3246).
MIAMI - In a May 12 amended complaint in Florida federal court, two cell phone owners bring privacy class claims against the phones' manufacturer and a Chinese firmware designer that they claim is responsible for surreptitiously intercepting and forwarding their personally identifiable information (PII) (In Re BLU Products Inc. Privacy Breach, No. 1:16-cv-24892, S.D. Fla.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - In a May 9 brief in California federal court, a fan of National Basketball Association team the Golden State Warriors defends her suit alleging interception of her private conversations via the team's smartphone application, opposing the defendants' dismissal motions and asserting that she sufficiently pleaded interception under the Electronic Communications Privacy App (ECPA) (LaTisha Satchell v. Sonic Notify Inc. d/b/a Signal360, et al., No.3:16-cv-04961, N.D. Calif.).
MISSOULA, Mont. - A Montana federal judge on May 8 granted summary judgment for a bank, finding that it did not invade the privacy of property owners when its inspector took pictures of the property after a default on a loan and that the bank was permitted to inspect the property pursuant to the deed on the home (Carey and Ryan Prather v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 15-163. D. Mont., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70781).
CHICAGO - A group of Chicago police officers who sued a newspaper for violating the Drivers Privacy and Protection Act (DPPA) by publishing their personal information moved for a protective order in Illinois federal court on April 28, contending that the newspaper continues to seek improper and irrelevant information in discovery requests despite a previous order precluding it from doing so (Scott Dahlstrom, et al. v. Sun-Times Media LLC, No. 1:12-cv-00658, N.D. Ill.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 26 granted a motion to preliminarily approve settlement of a class action that accused Facebook Inc. of privacy violations related to the social network's scanning of users' private messages (PMs) for advertisement purposes (Matthew Campbell, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:13-cv-05996, N.D. Calif.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Utah woman filed a putative class complaint April 18 against the provider of a physician consultation smartphone app, telling a Florida federal court that the app shares users' sensitive medical information with a third-party firm, breaching the app maker's duty to keep this information confidential (Joan Richards v. MDLive Inc., No. 0:17-cv-60760, S.D. Fla.).
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.).