Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Courts Address Locational Privacy Issues

As we previously noted here and here, locational privacy continues to be an area of ongoing interest.  Yesterday, a New Jersey appeals court ruled that a husband’s privacy rights were not invaded when his wife put a GPS tracking device in his car.  In Villanova v. Innovative Investigations, Inc., A-0654-10T2 (N.J. Sup. Ct. App. Div. … Continue Reading

The Implications of The AT&T Mobility Decision for Web Publishers

In a decision with broad application, the Supreme Court held last Wednesday that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state law rules that classify class action waivers in consumer contracts as unconscionable and therefore unenforceable.  The holding in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, No. 09-893 (April 27, 2011) sweeps away a major barrier to enforcing arbitration agreements … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Justices Seem Skeptical of Vermont Law Restricting Use of Prescriber-Identifiable Data

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument last week in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc.  As described in our earlier post, the case involves a constitutional challenge to a Vermont law prohibiting the use or sale of doctors’ identifying information in prescription records—i.e., prescriber-identifiable data—without the doctor’s express consent. The key legal issue, as framed … Continue Reading

In Snyder v. Phelps, Victory for Funeral Picketers

The Supreme Court has issued its second decision touching on privacy issues in a short amount of time.  In Snyder v. Phelps, the Court held that the First Amendment prevents legal sanction against those who protest with offensive slogans on public property within close proximity to a private event.   The Westboro Baptist Church, a … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds Corporations’ Secrets Not Protected By Freedom of Information Act Exemption for “Personal Privacy”

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), citizens have a right to obtain documents from federal agencies.  However, agencies may withhold documents from request for several reasons, including to protect “personal privacy.”  Does the exemption for “personal privacy” protect the privacy of corporations in addition to that of individuals?  In its recent decision in Federal Communications … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Grants Review of Second Circuit Medical Privacy Ruling

On January 7, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a Court of Appeals decision striking down Vermont’s prescription confidentiality law.  The State of Vermont had petitioned the Supreme Court to review the case on December 13, 2010, after the Second Circuit ruled that the law constituted an impermissible restriction on commercial speech under the … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Finds Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in E-mails

On Tuesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in U.S. v. Warshak [PDF] that the government may not compel a commercial Internet service provider to turn over the contents of a subscriber’s e-mails without first obtaining a warrant based on probable cause.  The court recognized fundamental similarities between e-mail and more traditional forms of communication, such as … Continue Reading

Vermont Seeks Supreme Court Review of Second Circuit Medical Privacy Ruling

The State of Vermont is petitioning the Supreme Court to review a Court of Appeals decision holding that the State’s prescription confidentiality law is unconstitutional. The law at issue prohibits regulated entities from selling or using records containing prescriber-identifiable information—i.e., information linking prescribers to prescriptions for particular drugs—for marketing or promoting prescription drugs, unless the prescriber … Continue Reading