SAN JOSE, Calif. - Google Inc. on Oct. 21 filed its answer to a putative class action in California federal court over its purported scanning of emails on its Gmail service, denying that it violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act (***) or the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) (Daniel Matera v. Google Inc., No. 5:15-cv-04062, N.D. Calif.).
ERIE, Pa. - Eighteen months after the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed their ability bring class claims against a rent-to-own (RTO) retailer that purportedly installed spyware on their computer, a Wyoming couple on Oct. 14 again moved for class certification to pursue their claims under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-00101, W.D. Pa.).
SAN FRANCISCO - In light of the concrete injury in fact requirement established by Spokeo Inc. v. Robins (136 S.Ct. 1540 ), a California federal judge on Oct. 5 dismissed an employee's putative Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action against ride-sharing service Lyft Inc., finding that the plaintiff's statutory and privacy violation claims were insufficient to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Michael Nokchan v. Lyft Inc., No. 3:15-CV-03008, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138582).
OAKLAND, Calif. - The plaintiffs in a class action alleging private message (PM) scanning by Facebook Inc. saw three motions to compel discovery denied Oct. 4, with a California federal judge finding the requests for source code, configuration tables and related documents to be overbroad and not sufficiently tailored to the plaintiffs' allegations of privacy violations (Matthew Campbell, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:13-cv-05996, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137936).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 28 denied a magazine publisher's attempt to dismiss a class complaint accusing it of violating the privacy rights of Michigan subscribers by selling their personal information to third parties (Suzanne Boelter, et al. v. Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., d/b/a/ Conde Nast, No. 15-5671, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134484).
CINCINNATI - A motion by Time Inc. to dismiss the appeal of a ruling in its favor in a privacy class action was denied Sept. 22, with a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel finding that the magazine publisher's arguments went to the jurisdiction of the trial court, not the appeals court (Rose Coulter-Owens, et al. v. Time, Inc., No. 16-1321, 6th Cir.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Vizio Inc. on Sept. 19 moved to dismiss a putative class action in California federal court over purported tracking of smart TV users' "viewing data" for lack of standing, arguing that the plaintiffs did not establish that it is a "video tape service provider" under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) or that it disclosed their personally identifiable information (PII) (In Re: Vizio, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 8:16-ml-02693, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Six months after the Federal Bureau of Investigation gained access to the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorists via assistance of an unidentified third party, three news organizations filed suit in District of Columbia federal court Sept. 16, seeking to compel the FBI to disclose details about its business transaction with this unknown vendor under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), citing public interest and privacy concerns (The Associated Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, No. 1:16-cv-01850, D. D.C.).
NEW YORK - A plaintiff alleging violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) by a provider of advertising services for Internet error pages should have known of her duty to preserve browsing history and tracking cookie evidence from her computer, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled Aug. 29, granting in part the defendant's motion for sanctions for spoliation (Betsy Feist v. Paxfire Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-05436, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116405).
LOS ANGELES - One day after filing a notice of nonopposition to a motion to compel arbitration by Snapchat Inc., the lead plaintiffs in a putative class action on Aug. 30 filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in California federal court, agreeing to pursue their claim against the social network provider under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) via arbitration (Jose Luis Martinez, et al. v. Snapchat Inc., No. 2:16-CV-05182, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Golden State Warriors was named as a co-defendant in a putative class action in California federal court Aug. 29, with a plaintiff alleging that the National Basketball Association team's mobile phone app illegally intercepts and records users' private conversations in violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (Latisha Satchell v. Sonic Notify Inc. d/b/a Signal360, et al., No.3:16-cv-04961, N.D. Calif.).
NEWARK, N.J. - The plaintiffs in a privacy class action against Viacom Inc. and Google Inc. filed a letter in New Jersey federal court Aug. 19, taking issue with Viacom's efforts to file a prediscovery summary judgment motion to dispose of the remaining intrusion upon seclusion claim that was recently revived and remanded by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 2:12-cv-07829, D. N.J.).
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).