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
Fourth Circuit Holds Statements About Importance of Data Security Not Actionable
In a new post on the Inside Class Actions blog, our colleagues discuss a recent Fourth Circuit opinion holding that statements about the importance a company places on data security are not actionable following a data breach. The case, In re Marriott International, Inc., — F.4th —-, No. 21-1802 (4th Cir. Apr. 21…
Financial Institution Reaches Settlement in Call Recording Class Action
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. …
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Federal Court Expresses Skepticism About Validity of Geofence Warrants But Declines Suppression Remedy
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.
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Court Grants Dismissal of Wiretapping and Contract Claims in Putative Privacy Class Action Involving Google Privacy Settings
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. …
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No Harm, No Foul: New York Federal Court Recommends Dismissing Sensitive Data Breach Class Action for Lack of Standing
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. …
Ninth Circuit Affirms Approval of Injunctive Relief and Cy Pres Settlement of Google Street View Privacy Claims
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.
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Ninth Circuit’s Interpretation of Private Search Exception to the Fourth Amendment Contributes to “Growing Tension” Among Circuit Courts
Last week, the Ninth Circuit held in United States v. Wilson, No. 18-50440, 2021 WL 4270847, that a law enforcement officer violated a criminal defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights when he opened images attached to the defendant’s emails without a warrant, even though the images had previously been flagged as child sexual abuse materials (“CSAM”) by Google’s automated CSAM-detection software. The court based its ruling on the private search exception to the Fourth Amendment, which permits law enforcement to conduct a warrantless search only to the extent the search was previously conducted by a private party. Because no individual at Google actually opened and viewed the images flagged as CSAM, the court held that law enforcement “exceeded the scope of the antecedent private search,” thereby “exceed[ing] the limits of the private search exception.” Op. at 20-21.
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California Federal Court Adopts Narrow Reading of Telephone “Instrument” Under the California Invasion of Privacy Act
Last year, Apple’s iOS14 incorporated a new feature notifying users when an app copied from the iPhone’s clipboard. The feature resulted in media scrutiny for a number of well-known apps, some of which faced putative class action lawsuits as a result. A court in the Eastern District of California recently dismissed one such suit, Mastel v. Miniclip SA, No. 2:21-cv-00124 (E.D. Cal.). In that decision, the court rejected a broad interpretation of telephone “instrument” under the California Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”), concluding that non-telephonic smartphone functionality does not constitute a telephone instrument.
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FTC Remedial Power Under Scrutiny at U.S. Supreme Court
On Wednesday, January 13, the Supreme Court heard arguments in AMG Capital Management LLC v. Federal Trade Commission. This case raises the question whether the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been properly using Section 13(b) of the FTC Act, the provision authorizing requests for preliminary and permanent injunctions where the FTC believes the defendant…