Privacy Litigation

FTC Publishes Report Regarding Privacy Workshop

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In October 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) published a report that summarized discussions at a December 2017 workshop discussing the potential impact to consumers of privacy and security incidents. The purpose of the workshop was to explore whether government intervention in this arena is warranted under the enforcement authority granted to the FTC under the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 41 et seq. The report reveals that the workshop participants identified several types of potential impacts that they believe consumers may face in the wake of a data security incident that could warrant [...] Read more

An Update on the California Consumer Privacy Act and Its Private Right of Action

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While it remains to be seen what the final text of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) looks like when it is ultimately implemented on January 1, 2020, at present it seems likely that businesses and employers can expect an influx of lawsuits from individual consumers proceeding under the CCPA’s private right of action.  Under the current version of the CCPA, the Act provides a private right of action for consumers whose personal information “is subject to an unauthorized access and exfiltration, theft, or disclosure as a result of the business’ violation of the duty to implement and […] Read more

Alston & Bird Hosts Sept. 12 Webinar on California Consumer Privacy Act

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Save the date! On Sept. 12, 1 – 2 PM ET, Alston & Bird will host a webinar to analyze the new California Consumer Privacy Act. (You can read our prior advisory.) The California Consumer Privacy Act has been compared to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation due to its creation of important new privacy rights likely to require significant compliance activity by many companies. Partners Jim Harvey, David Keating, and Senior Counsel Peter Swire will lead discussion of this comprehensive new legislation currently slated to enter into force in less than 18 months.   Registration [...] Read more

Privacy Activist Challenges Data Collection for Internet Businesses

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Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems’ organization, NOYB – Center for Digital Rights, filed complaints against Google (Android), Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook on May 25th, the same day on which the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became effective. NOYB filed the complaints based on the GDPR with supervisory authorities in France, Belgium, Germany and Austria.  These “Day 1” complaints could have a definite impact on ad-supported online businesses. The complaints reflect similar criticisms of each company. Assuming that each company processes personal data on the basis [...] Read more

Georgia Court of Appeals Reaffirms Lack of Duty to Safeguard Personal Information

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The Georgia Court of Appeals recently reaffirmed its prior conclusion that there is no duty to safeguard personal information under Georgia law.  In McConnell v. Ga. Dep’t of Labor, --- S.E.2d ----, 2018 WL 2173252 (Ga. App. May 11, 2018), the Court of Appeals addressed whether a plaintiff whose social security number and other personal identifying information (“PII”) had allegedly been negligently disclosed by an employee of the Georgia Department of Labor stated a negligence claim in connection with the unauthorized disclosure. In urging that the Court of Appeals should recognize such [...] Read more

Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Schnuck Markets Data Breach Lawsuit

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action brought by financial institutions against Schnuck Markets, Inc., following a data breach impacting Schnuck beginning late 2012. The plaintiffs attempted to assert claims of negligence, negligence per se, various contract claims, and violation of Illinois consumer protection laws, alleging damages in the form of employee time to investigate and resolve fraud claims, payments to indemnify customers for fraudulent charges, and lost interest and transaction fees based on changes in [...] Read more

Irish High Court Refers Schrems 2.0 to the ECJ

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On April 11, Justice Caroline Costello of the Irish High Court referred the Schrems 2.0 case to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) with 11 questions for the ECJ to answer. Per Justice Costello, the sole issue in the case is whether the European Commission’s Decisions regarding standard contractual clauses (SCCs) are valid, which is reflected in the 11 questions posed. The reference asks the ECJ to determine: Whether provisions of EU law related to national security, public security, defense, and state security apply to transfers of data outside the EU under SCCs; Whether [...] Read more

Privacy & Data Security Team Launches Unique GDPR Tracker Website

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“To Harmonize or Not To Harmonize: That Is the Question.” With the the GDPR fast approaching on May 25, 2018, European Member States are getting ready with the implementation of national legislation. Although the GDPR is a regulation, and directly applicable in all Member States, it has left room for country-specific legislation in several different regards (such as the processing of employee data or individual rights restrictions). Most Member States still only have draft legislation at this point, but the expectation (or at least intention) is that each country will have adopted legislation [...] Read more

Lenovo Wins Second Motion to Dismiss in Adware Class Action

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By Jay Repko A California district court recently dismissed—for the second time—consumer claims that technology giant Lenovo Inc. violated New York’s Deceptive Acts and Practices Statute by selling laptops with preinstalled VisualDiscovery software that allegedly invades users’ privacy and exposes users to security breaches.  In reaching this decision, Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. concluded that dismissal was warranted for two reasons: (i) the plaintiffs lacked standing and (ii) the plaintiffs failed to adequately allege actual damages. By its very terms, New York’s Deceptive [...] Read more

ECJ Rules against Schrems Class Action, Sets Up Jurisdictional Questions for GDPR Class Actions

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In late 2015, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its initial Schrems decision, invalidating the EU/US Safe Harbor and leading to important developments in the rules for transferring personal data from the EU to the US.  Since that decision, Mr. Schrems has pursued two further legal proceedings in the EU. The first involves Mr. Schrems’ challenge in the Irish courts to EU Standard Contractual Clauses, which permit data to be transferred internationally between contract parties.  In the trial,  Alston & Bird Special Counsel Peter Swire testified as an expert on US national [...] Read more