CHICAGO - The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) did not violate the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in issuing subpoenas on a man's email provider and Internet service provider (ISP) because he had no expectation of privacy in his computer's Internet protocol (IP) address, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found Aug. 17, affirming a district court's denial of the defendant's motion to suppress in a drug possession case (United States of America v. Frank Caira, No. 14-1003, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15098).
CINCINNATI - A plaintiff sufficiently alleged that the developer of software that was used to intercept and record his communications was an active participant in these actions, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority found Aug. 16, reversing a trial court's ruling that dismissed the plaintiff's claims under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) for failure to state a claim (Javier Luis v. Awareness Technologies, et al., No. 14-3601, 6th Cir.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a pair of reply briefs filed Aug. 10 in California federal court, Google Inc. seeks to support its pending motions for summary judgment in a putative privacy class action over its Google Wallet feature and to exclude the lead plaintiff's expert's testimony on damages (Alice Svenson v. Google Inc., et al., No. 5:13-cv-04080, N.D. Calif.).
CALGARY, Alberta - A Canadian woman on Aug. 18 filed suit in the Court of Queen's Bench for Alberta against Niantic Inc., the developer of the mobile game Pokemon Go, asserting that her property has become a "Pokestop" in the game against her wishes, leading the game's players to invade her privacy (Barbra-Lyn Schaeffer v. Niantic Inc., No. 1601-01491, Queen's Bench, Alberta).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A group of consumers who purchased laptops that were preinstalled with purported malware filed a motion for class certification in California federal court on July 22 of their unlawful access, consumer protection and related claims against the computer manufacturer and the software developer (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02624, N.D. Calif.).
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).