Caleb Skeath

Caleb Skeath

Caleb Skeath advises clients on a broad range of privacy and data security issues, including regulatory inquiries from the Federal Trade Commission, data breach notification obligations, compliance with consumer protection laws, and state and federal laws regarding educational and financial privacy.

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Administrative Law Judge Dismisses FTC’s LabMD Complaint, Finding Insufficient Evidence of “Substantial Injury” to Consumers

On Friday, November 13, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chief Administrative Law Judge Chappell issued an Initial Decision dismissing the FTC’s complaint against LabMD, on the ground that the Commission’s staff had failed to carry its burden of demonstrating a “likely substantial injury” to consumers resulting from LabMD’s allegedly “unfair” data security practices. While Judge Chappell’s … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Resurrects State Law Claims Against Google in Safari Cookie Tracking Lawsuit

Last week, the Third Circuit revived a multi-district privacy lawsuit against Google, finding that the trial court erred in dismissing the plaintiffs’ privacy claims under California state law.  The case centers around the plaintiffs’ allegations that Google violated state and federal law by circumventing the Safari browser’s default “cookie blocker” settings to track users’ online … Continue Reading

Following TCPA Omnibus Order, Court Reaffirms Prior Ruling in Dismissing TCPA Text Message Lawsuit Against AOL

In one of the first decisions evaluating Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) claims under the FCC’s recent omnibus TCPA order, the Northern District of California dismissed a putative class action lawsuit alleging that AOL violated the TCPA when users of its Instant Messenger service (AIM) sent text messages to incorrect recipients.  After the court dismissed … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Upholds FTC’s Data Security Authority in FTC v. Wyndham

The Third Circuit released its decision in FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp. earlier today, affirming the district court’s decision that the FTC has the authority to regulate companies’ data security practices under the “unfair practices” prong of Section 5 of the FTC Act.  The highly anticipated precedential opinion dismissed Wyndham’s arguments that the FTC lacks … Continue Reading

Fiat-Chrysler Recalls 1.4 Million Vehicles In Response to Security Vulnerability

Last Friday, Fiat Chrysler announced the recall of 1.4 million vehicles to fix security vulnerabilities, further highlighting the importance of properly addressing cybersecurity issues created by the use of connected devices.  The recall follows an article published last Tuesday by Wired magazine which described methods used by security researchers to remotely access a Jeep Cherokee, … Continue Reading

Ten Key Takeaways From Last Week’s TCPA Order

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the text of its long-awaited order addressing certain aspects of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and related FCC rules.  The order addressed a total of 21 petitions seeking “clarification or other actions” regarding the TCPA, principally in connection with automated calls and text messages. Although the … Continue Reading

FTC Releases “Start with Security” Guide to “Practical Lessons” From Data Security Enforcement Actions

As part of its ongoing outreach efforts to educate businesses about the importance of data security practices, the FTC has released a list of “10 practical lessons” drawn from its previous data security enforcement actions.  The list, entitled “Start with Security: A Guide for Business,” acknowledged that the FTC’s 50-plus data security enforcement actions are … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Strikes Down Ordinance Authorizing Warrantless Searches of Hotel Records

On June 22, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Los Angeles v. Patel, striking down a Los Angeles city ordinance that allowed law enforcement to inspect hotel guest registers on demand as facially unconstitutional.  Writing for a 5-4 majority, Justice Sotomayor held that the ordinance violated the Fourth Amendment by failing to provide for … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses Text-Message TCPA Suit Against AOL, Finding Instant Messaging Service Does Not Constitute an ATDS

On June 1, the Northern District of California dismissed a putative TCPA class action against AOL, finding that the plaintiff had failed to allege that AOL utilized an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS), as required to state a cause of action under the TCPA.  In dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint in Derby v. AOL, the court … Continue Reading

Court Certifies Nationwide Class in Yahoo Email Scanning Litigation

Last Tuesday, District Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California partially granted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification in In re Yahoo Mail Litig., allowing the plaintiffs to pursue their claims for injunctive relief on behalf of class members under the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) and California’s Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”).  The plaintiffs, … Continue Reading

FTC Highlights Importance of Post-Breach Cooperation with Law Enforcement

Yesterday, the FTC published a blog post outlining what companies should expect if they find themselves as the subject of an FTC data security investigation.  In addition to highlighting the different phases of the FTC’s investigative process, the FTC’s discussed the types of information that it seeks as well as the questions it wants answered.  … Continue Reading

House Committees Approve Information Sharing and Data Breach Notice Bills, Setting Stage for Floor Vote

Earlier this week, an information-sharing bill and a data breach bill passed through committee votes in the House, setting the stage for potentially significant legislative action on key cybersecurity issues in the near future.  On Tuesday, the House Homeland Security Committee approved the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act by a unanimous voice vote, following a … Continue Reading

Court Grants Summary Judgment on VPPA Claims Against Hulu Based on Lack of ‘Knowing’ Disclosure

On Tuesday, March 31, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted Hulu’s motion for summary judgment in a complaint alleging that Hulu had violated the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) by sharing user information with Facebook.  In granting summary judgment, the court found no genuine issue of material fact regarding whether … Continue Reading
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