Privacy Class Actions

Data Monetization and State Privacy Laws

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On June 8, magazine publisher Trusted Media Brands, Inc. settled a class action lawsuit for $8.2 million after purportedly disclosing the personal information and magazine choices of customers to third parties.  The lawsuit, Taylor v. Trusted Media Brands, Inc., No. 7:16-cv-01812 (S.D.N.Y. June 8, 2017), alleged that the publisher’s actions violated Michigan’s Video Rental Privacy Act (VRPA), demonstrating the sometimes hidden legal risks of data monetization. VRPA, inspired by the federal Video Privacy Protection Act, was passed in 1988 and applies to the purchase, rental, or borrowing [...] Read more

California Privacy Ballot Initiative Moves Forward: Act Would Amend California Constitution to Set Standards for Collection and Protection of Personally Identifying Information, including Financial and/or Health Information

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California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has allowed signature collection to commence for a ballot initiative, named the Personal Privacy Protection Act, that could drastically alter the California privacy regime. The initiative, led by former state Senator Steve Peace and retired attorney Michael Thorsnes, seeks to amend the California Constitution to define personally identifiable information as “any information which can be used to distinguish or trace a natural person’s identity which is linked or linkable to a specific natural person” but excludes information that is publicly [...] Read more

California District Court Allows ECPA Claims to Proceed

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The United States District Court for the Northern District of California has denied Google’s motion to dismiss the ECPA claims asserted against it in In re Google Inc. Gmail Litigation, No. 13-MD-02430 2013 WL 5423918 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 26, 2013).  This decision provides a road map to plaintiffs’ lawyers and has already resulted in the filing of follow-on, copycat lawsuits. The In re Google Plaintiffs allege that “since 2008, Google has intercepted, read, and acquired the content of emails that were sent or received by Gmail users while the emails were in transit.” Plaintiffs claim that [...] Read more