SAN FRANCISCO - Two weeks after the Michigan Supreme Court determined that the lead plaintiff in a putative class action against Pandora Media Inc. did not constitute a customer of Pandora's online streaming service per Michigan's Video Rental Privacy Act (VRPA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 21 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of the suit (Peter Deacon v. Pandora Media Inc. No. 12-17734, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13333).
SAN FRANCISCO - Although a California federal judge on July 15 found the primary proposed class in a dispute over the purported unauthorized sharing of users' address book information to be too broad to support class certification, he granted certification of a subclass of users of Apple Inc.'s devices who activated a particular application (app) designed by Path Inc. (Marc Opperman, et al. v. Path Inc., et al., No. 3:13-CV-00453, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92403).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a brief filed July 6 in California federal court, a group of more than 700 university student plaintiffs oppose a motion by Google Inc. to sever and dismiss their claims alleging violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) by the interception and scanning of their emails, arguing that joinder is "fundamentally fair and judicially efficient" (Ryan Corley, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 5:16-cv-00473, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - Two plaintiffs that filed putative class complaints alleging that Google Inc. violated Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) via facial recognition capability in its "Google Photos" feature, filed a brief on July 1 in Illinois federal court opposing Google's motion to dismiss, arguing that the Internet giant violated the statute by collecting their biometric identifiers without their consent (Lindabeth Rivera v. Google Inc., No. 1:16-cv-02714, and Joseph Weiss v. Google Inc., No. 1:16-cv-02870, N.D. Ill.).
LANSING, Mich. - Responding to a question certified by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court on July 6 unanimously concluded that a user of Pandora Media Inc.'s online streaming service did not constitute a "customer" because he did not "rent" or "borrow" the service under the state's Video Rental Privacy Act (VRPA) (In Re Certified Question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Peter Deacon v. Pandora Media Inc., No. 151104, Mich. Sup.; 2016 Mich. LEXIS 1385).
PHILADELPHIA - Although it mostly affirmed the dismissal of class claims against Viacom Inc. and Google Inc. related to the purported collection of children's personal information via the Nickelodeon network's websites, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 27 found that an intrusion upon seclusion claim against Viacom was sufficiently alleged, vacating dismissal of the claim and remanding for further proceedings (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 15-1441, 3rd Cir.).
TOPEKA, Kan. - A Kansas appeals court on June 10 affirmed a lower court's ruling that insurers have no duty to defend or indemnify their insured against an underlying invasion of privacy lawsuit filed by three former female employees of the insured's law office, rejecting the insured's argument that the doctrines of waiver and estoppel create insurance coverage where such coverage did not exist otherwise (Mid-Century Insurance Company, et al. v. Jeremiah Johnson, No. 111,750, Kan. App.; 2016 Kan. App. Unpub. LEXIS 442).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The putative lead plaintiff in a suit alleging breach of contract and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) against Google Inc. filed a motion for class certification in California federal court on June 3, alleging that privacy violations made via the Google Wallet feature affected millions of potential class members (Alice Svenson v. Google Inc., et al., No. 5:13-cv-04080, N.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA - Two weeks after Viacom Inc. told the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins supports dismissal of a putative class action against it under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), the plaintiffs on June 3 filed a letter arguing that Spokeo supports their position by affirming "that 'intangible' injuries may create standing" (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 15-1441, 3rd Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - In a May 20 letter to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Viacom Inc. says that the U.S. Supreme Court's May 16 ruling in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins provides further support to affirm a lower court's ruling that dismissed a putative class action against it under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) due to lack of standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 15-1441, 3rd Cir.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - The president of a university police association defended his motion to certify a class of University of California (UC) police officers alleging privacy violations related to the surreptitious recording of officers' conversations in a May 6 brief in California federal court, contending that he sufficiently pleaded typicality, numerosity and other common issues (Federated University Police Officers' Association, et al. v. The Regents of the University of California, et al., No. 8:15-cv-00137, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A putative class complaint alleging violations of an Illinois biometrics privacy law by Facebook Inc. survived dismissal on May 5, when a California federal judge found the class claims sufficiently pleaded and compatible with a California choice-of-law provision (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60046).
BOSTON - A man whose personally identifiable information (PII) was shared with a third party via USA Today's mobile app has sufficiently pleaded a violation of the Video Protection Privacy Act (VPPA), a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 29, vacating a trial court's dismissal of a putative class action against the newspaper's owner (Alexander Yershov v. Gannett Satellite Information Network Inc., No. 15-1719, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7791).
SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc. on April 22 moved for partial summary judgment in a class action in California federal court related to the purported accessing of users' private address book information on their Apple devices by various applications (apps), seeking to dispose of claims that it aided and abetted related to accused privacy violations by Path Inc., one of the co-defendant app developer firms (Marc Opperman, et al. v. Path Inc., et al., No. 3:13-CV-00453, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on April 7 agreed to consolidate 15 lawsuits pending in seven different federal courts accusing Vizio Inc. of violating customers' privacy rights and centralize them in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (In Re: Vizio, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, MDL No. 2693, JPMDL; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47523).
SAN FRANCISCO - A month after a hearing in California federal court at which Facebook Inc. sought dismissal of a lawsuit alleging privacy violations in its photo "Tag Suggestions" feature, the putative class plaintiffs on April 5 filed a statement of a recent Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision that found a purported online contract to be invalid based on a website operator's failure to provide "reasonable notice" of a user's assent to the contract's terms (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - The lead plaintiff in a putative class action against a provider of advertising services for Internet error pages moved for summary judgment of that firm's defamation counterclaims in New York federal court on March 28, asserting that she did not make the purportedly defamatory statements attributed to her, which the defendant cites as examples of a conspiracy at the heart of the class complaint (Betsy Feist v. Paxfire Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-05436, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a March 25 order leading up to a copyright retrial, a California judge championed the benefits of instituting a ban preventing the counsel of Oracle America Inc. and Google Inc. from running Internet and social media searches on potential jurors, stressing a need to protect jurors' privacy (Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc., No. 3:10-cv-03561, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39675).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A group of plaintiffs in a privacy suit against Facebook Inc. filed a motion to compel in California federal court on March 16, complaining that the social network operator "has unilaterally granted itself a stay of discovery" and asking the court to order compliance with their previous discovery requests for certain categories of documents (In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 5:12-md-02314; N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Facebook Inc. filed a motion for a protective order March 2 in California federal court, asserting that a four-year-old privacy suit over its purported use of tracking cookies should be stayed pending resolution of the social network's second dismissal motion (In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 5:12-md-02314, N.D. Calif.).