Litigation

An Illinois federal court has dismissed a proposed class action alleging X Corp. violated the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) through its use of PhotoDNA software to create “hashes” of images to scan for nudity and related content. The court held that Plaintiff failed to allege that the hashes identified photo subjects and therefore failed to allege that the hashes constituted biometric identifiers. Martell v. X Corp., 2024 WL 3011353, at *4 (N.D. Ill. June 13, 2024).Continue Reading Illinois Federal Court Dismisses BIPA Suit Against X, Holding “Biometric Identifiers” Must Identify Individuals

Likely spurred by plaintiffs’ recent successes in cases under Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), a new wave of class actions is emerging under Illinois’s Genetic Information Privacy Act (“GIPA”). While BIPA regulates the collection, use, and disclosure of biometric data, GIPA regulates that of genetic testing information. Each has a private right of action and provides for significant statutory damages, even potentially where plaintiffs allege a violation of the rule without actual damages.[1] From its 1998 enactment until last year, there were few GIPA cases, and they were largely focused on claims related to genetic testing companies.[2] More recently, plaintiffs have brought dozens of cases against employers alleging GIPA violations based on allegations of employers requesting family medical history through pre-employment physical exams. This article explores GIPA’s background, the current landscape and key issues, and considerations for employers.Continue Reading Employers Beware: New Wave of Illinois Genetic Information Privacy Act Litigation

In 2020, Illinois residents whose photos were included in the Diversity in Faces dataset brought a series of lawsuits against multiple technology companies, including IBM, Facefirst, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google alleging violations of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act.[1] In the years since, the cases against IBM and FaceFirst were dismissed at the agreement of both parties, while the cases against Microsoft, Amazon, and most recently, Google were dismissed at summary judgment.Continue Reading What the Diversity in Faces Litigation Means for Biometric Technologies

After several twist and turns, on July 7th Intel Corp. succeeded in achieving final dismissal of class claims alleging that Intel knew about purported security vulnerabilities in its microprocessors and failed to disclose or mitigate those vulnerabilities.  The case, In Re Intel Corp. CPU Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, 3:18-md-02828, had

A financial institution and its vendor recently reached a $50 million settlement in a class action lawsuit for violating the call recording provision of the California Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”).  The settlement is nearly three times the size of the largest previous settlement under CIPA, which provides for damages of $5,000 per violation.
Continue Reading Financial Institution Reaches Settlement in Call Recording Class Action

Last Thursday, the Eastern District of Virginia in United States v. Chatrie, No. 19-cr-00130, 2022 WL 628905, denied a motion to suppress evidence obtained from Google pursuant to a geofence search warrant.  Geofence warrants are a relatively new investigative tool that target private companies’ databases of location data, compelling these companies to produce the location data of every user that was in a particular area over a particular span of time.  The court invalidated the warrant for lack of particularized probable cause, but declined to suppress the evidence obtained from Google—which linked the defendant to the scene of a 2019 bank robbery—because the officers sought the warrant in good faith.
Continue Reading Federal Court Expresses Skepticism About Validity of Geofence Warrants But Declines Suppression Remedy

A California federal district court recently granted partial dismissal of privacy claims brought by several Google users in Rodriguez v. Google, LLC, No. 20-cv-5688 (N.D. Cal.).  The Rodriguez plaintiffs claimed that Google engaged in unlawful wiretapping under section 631 of the California Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”) by collecting data from third-party apps after users turned off certain data tracking in their Google privacy settings; they also claimed that Google breached a unilateral contract they had formed by selecting those privacy settings.  The court disagreed, and dismissed these two claims without leave to amend.
Continue Reading Court Grants Dismissal of Wiretapping and Contract Claims in Putative Privacy Class Action Involving Google Privacy Settings

In a new post on the Inside Class Actions blog, our colleagues discuss a recent Western District of New York report and recommendation concluding that any risk of identity theft or other injury was too “speculative” to show standing in the putative data breach class action Tassmer et al v. Professional Business Systems

Last week, in a decision that confirms the viability of cy pres settlements in privacy class action cases, the Ninth Circuit affirmed approval of a class action injunctive relief and cy pres-only settlement in In re Google Inc. Street View Electronic Communications Litigation, No. 20-15616, 2021 WL 6111383.  The case featured Wiretap Act claims based on Google Street View vehicles’ collection of “payload data,” including emails, passwords, and documents that Internet users transmitted over unencrypted Wi-Fi networks.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Affirms Approval of Injunctive Relief and Cy Pres Settlement of Google Street View Privacy Claims