LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - South Carolina Panel Finds No Expectation Of Privacy In Abandoned Phone

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Deeming a cell phone found at a crime scene to have been abandoned by its owner, a South Carolina appeals panel majority on Sept. 23 found that the owner, therefore, had also abandoned any expectation of privacy in the phone's contents, affirming a trial court's decision to permit evidence obtained from it at the trial that led to the phone owner's burglary conviction (The State v. Lamar Sequan Brown, No. 2013-000725, S.C. App.; 2015 S.C. App. LEXIS 217).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Yahoo Seeks Summary Judgment In Email Scanning Class Action

SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a Sept. 19 summary judgment motion in California federal court, Yahoo Inc. asserts that its email scanning functions, which are at the heart of a privacy class action, comprise beneficial antivirus functions and benign targeted advertising but do not violate asserted federal and state privacy laws (In Re Yahoo Mail Litigation, No. 5:13-cv-04980, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Facebook Seeks Dismissal Of Lead Plaintiffs In Privacy Class Action

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Social media giant Facebook Inc. told a California federal court in a Sept. 18 motion that the named plaintiffs in a five-year-old putative class action do not have standing to bring their privacy claims under Article III of the U.S. Constitution because they have not established any third-party access of their personal information or any injury in fact, thus meriting dismissal of the case (In Re: Facebook Privacy Litigation, No. 5:10-cv-02389, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Yahoo Seeks Summary Judgment In Email Scanning Class Action

SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a Sept. 19 summary judgment motion in California federal court, Yahoo Inc. asserts that its email scanning functions, which are at the heart of a privacy class action, comprise beneficial antivirus functions and benign targeted advertising but do not violate asserted federal and state privacy laws (In Re Yahoo Mail Litigation, No. 5:13-cv-04980, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Twitter User Claims Privacy Violations In Reading, Altering Of Private Messages

SAN FRANCISCO - Social network provider Twitter Inc. was hit with a putative class action Sept. 14, when a Texas man filed a complaint in California federal court, alleging violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the California Invasion of Privacy Act (***) by Twitter's purported intercepting, reading and sometimes altering private messages between Twitter users (Wilford Raney v. Twitter Inc., No. 3:15-cv-04191, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 3rd Circuit: Insurers Owe No Coverage To Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 15 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that insurers have no duty to defend against three underlying putative class actions alleging that its retailer insured violated state statutes and common-law privacy rights when gathering customers' personal ZIP code information while processing credit card transactions (OneBeacon America Insurance Co. v. Urban Outfitters Inc. and Anthropologie Inc. v. The Hanover Insurance Group, No. 14-2976, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16399).

Mealey's Insurance - 3rd Circuit: Insurers Owe No Coverage To Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 15 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that insurers have no duty to defend against three underlying putative class actions alleging that its retailer insured violated state statutes and common-law privacy rights when gathering customers' personal ZIP code information while processing credit card transactions (OneBeacon America Insurance Co. v. Urban Outfitters Inc. and Anthropologie Inc. v. The Hanover Insurance Group, No. 14-2976, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16399).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 9th Circuit Finds No Private Cause Of Action For Unlawful Retention Under The VPPA

SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 4 affirmed dismissal of a New York man's putative class action alleging that Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC violated the Video Protection Privacy Act (VPPA) by unlawfully retaining and disclosing his personally identifiable information (PII), holding that the act does not provide for a private right of action for unlawful disclosure (Daniel Rodriguez v. Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC, et al., No. 12-17391, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15782).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Denies Yahoo's Appeal Of Class Certification In Email Privacy Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 11 denied Yahoo Inc's petition for permission to appeal a trial court's grant of class certification in a lawsuit alleging violation of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) by Yahoo's scanning of the emails of people who are not subscribers of its Yahoo Mail service (Cody Baker v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 15-80101, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 9th Circuit Denies Yahoo's Appeal Of Class Certification In Email Privacy Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 11 denied Yahoo Inc's petition for permission to appeal a trial court's grant of class certification in a lawsuit alleging violation of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) by Yahoo's scanning of the emails of people who are not subscribers of its Yahoo Mail service (Cody Baker v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 15-80101, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Officers' Wiretap, Privacy Claims Against University Partly Survive Dismissal

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 29 partly denied a university's motion to dismiss wiretap and privacy class claims against it related to campus police officers' assertions that their conversations were covertly recorded (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.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99147).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Officers' Wiretap, Privacy Claims Against University Partly Survive Dismissal

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 29 partly denied a university's motion to dismiss wiretap and privacy class claims against it related to campus police officers' assertions that their conversations were covertly recorded (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.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99147).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Magazine Subscribers Win Class Certification In Suit Alleging Privacy Violations

DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on July 27 granted certification to a class of magazine subscribers who allege that when they signed up for their subscriptions, their personal information was shared with two marketing companies in violation of Michigan state law (Rose Coulter-Owens, et al. v. Time, Inc., No. 12-14390, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97352).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Magistrate: Discovery From Irish Facebook Affiliate Not Merited In Privacy Suit

OAKLAND, Calif. - The plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging privacy violations by Facebook Inc.'s purported scanning of users' private messages are not permitted to compel materials from the social network's Irish affiliate, a California federal magistrate ruled July 21, finding that considerations of international comity weighed against such discovery (Matthew Campbell, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:13-cv-05996, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95702).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Magistrate: Discovery From Irish Facebook Affiliate Not Merited In Privacy Suit

OAKLAND, Calif. - The plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging privacy violations by Facebook Inc.'s purported scanning of users' private messages are not permitted to compel materials from the social network's Irish affiliate, a California federal magistrate ruled July 21, finding that considerations of international comity weighed against such discovery (Matthew Campbell, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:13-cv-05996, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95702).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Dismisses Android Privacy Class Claims For 4th And Final Time

SAN JOSE, Calif. - After giving a putative class of Android smartphone users three opportunities to amend their complaint to allege privacy claims against Google Inc., a California federal judge on July 15 granted Google's fourth motion to dismiss, this time without leave to amend (In re Google, Inc. Privacy Policy Litigation, No. 5:12-cv-01382, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92736).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses Android Privacy Class Claims For 4th And Final Time

SAN JOSE, Calif. - After giving a putative class of Android smartphone users three opportunities to amend their complaint to allege privacy claims against Google Inc., a California federal judge on July 15 granted Google's fourth motion to dismiss, this time without leave to amend (In re Google, Inc. Privacy Policy Litigation, No. 5:12-cv-01382, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92736).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Quashes Subpoena On Homeland Security Secretary In Privacy Suit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citing the presumption against subpoenaing high-ranking government officials and the plaintiffs' failure to establish that they cannot obtain the information sought from other sources, a District of Columbia federal judge on July 16 granted the government's motion to quash a subpoena seeking testimony from the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a lawsuit alleging privacy violations by the government's retention, search and use of the plaintiffs' emails (Gilberte Jill Kelley, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, et al., No. 1:13-cv-00825, D. D.C.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Dismisses Android Privacy Class Claims For 4th And Final Time

SAN JOSE, Calif. - After giving a putative class of Android smartphone users three opportunities to amend their complaint to allege privacy claims against Google Inc., a California federal judge on July 15 granted Google's fourth motion to dismiss, this time without leave to amend (In re Google, Inc. Privacy Policy Litigation, No. 5:12-cv-01382, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92736).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Permits Notification Of Student Records Disclosure Via Publication

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Finding that individual notification to more than 1 million students and their parents would be impractical in a lawsuit over education rights for disabled students, a California federal judge on July 2 ruled that the California Department of Education (CDOE) can notify parents of the release of student records in response to discovery requests via publication without violating the privacy protections of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) (Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association, et al. v. California Department of Education, et al., No. 2:11-cv-03471, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86909).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge: Discovery Of Subscriber Information Does Not Violate Federal Privacy Law

BALTIMORE - A subpoena served on the Internet service provider (ISP) of a Doe defendant in a file-sharing suit does not violate the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a Maryland federal judge ruled June 30, finding that the act specifically allows disclosure of subscriber identification information for the purpose of serving process on an alleged infringer in a copyright infringement lawsuit (Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned to IP Address 72.81.222.57, No. 1:15-cv-01048, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85355).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Discovery Of Subscriber Information Does Not Violate Federal Privacy Law

BALTIMORE - A subpoena served on the Internet service provider (ISP) of a Doe defendant in a file-sharing suit does not violate the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a Maryland federal judge ruled June 30, finding that the act specifically allows disclosure of subscriber identification information for the purpose of serving process on an alleged infringer in a copyright infringement lawsuit (Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned to IP Address 72.81.222.57, No. 1:15-cv-01048, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85355).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 9th Circuit: Termination Was For Legitimate Reason; No Benefit Interference

SAN FRANCISCO - An employer did not unlawfully interfere with a pension plan participant's right to early retirement benefits in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by terminating her employment because she was terminated for violating the employer's privacy policies, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed July 1 in an unpublished opinion (Rosemarie Cole v. The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., et al., No. 13-15952, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11346).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Privacy Class Action Over AARP's Website Dismissed For Lack Of Standing

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The AARP did not violate its privacy policy by collecting personally identifiable information (PII) from users of its website, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled June 30, also holding that an AARP member failed to establish any economic injury in her putative class complaint centered on the organization's purported sharing of users' PII with third parties via use of website cookies (Ethel Austin-Spearman v. AARP, et al., No. 1:14-cv-01288, D. D.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84261).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Magistrate Allows Limited Deposition Of Plaintiff's Counsel In Privacy Class Suit

NEW YORK - Materials and communications related to the plaintiff's counsel's investigation in a privacy class action do not qualify for attorney-client privilege, a New York federal magistrate ruled June 26, allowing the defendant to conduct a limited deposition of the attorney (Betsy Feist v. Paxfire Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-05436, S.D. N.Y.).