Tag Archives: Video Privacy Protection Act

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Cert In VPPA Case

Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in In re Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, a case addressing whether static digital identifiers like internet protocol (IP) addresses qualify as personally identifiable information (PII) under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA).  As a result, the Third Circuit’s June 27, 2016 decision in the case—which held that IP addresses … Continue Reading

Video Privacy Protection Act Rulings in Gannett and CNN Reach Opposite Conclusions

In two cases last week, two courts entered widely divergent rulings on the central question of the specific definition of “personally identifiable information,” or “PII,” under the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”).  The VPPA defines PII as information that “identifies a person as having [obtained a video]” from a video tape service provider (“VTSP”). In … Continue Reading

Free Cartoon Network App User Not a “Subscriber” Under VPPA, Rules Eleventh Circuit

On October 9, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed in Ellis v. Cartoon Network, Inc. that a person who downloads and uses a free mobile application to view freely available content is not, without more, a “subscriber” under the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”). Cartoon Network offers a free mobile app that people can download to watch … 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

‘Video Rental Privacy Act’ Covers Magazines, Court Holds

A federal court opinion released this week is a reminder that Michigan’s Video Rental Privacy Act (VRPA) may apply to far more than just videos. The Michigan VRPA restricts the disclosure of customers’ personal information by companies “engaged in the business of selling at retail, renting, or lending books or other written materials, sound recordings, … Continue Reading

Action Against Magazine Publishers for Sale of Customer Lists Allowed to Proceed

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has allowed a putative class action under Michigan law to proceed against several magazine publishers that allegedly sold lists of their customers’ names, addresses, and subscription choices to third parties.  Earlier this week, in a case styled Halaburda v. Bauer Publishing Co., Judge Steeh … Continue Reading

The Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments: A Final Analysis

Yesterday, President Obama signed into law the “Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act of 2012,” a law that amends the VPPA’s notoriously vague consent provision.  As originally enacted, the VPPA allowed “video tape service providers” to disclose consumers’ “personally identifiable information” (including their video viewing histories) with a consumer’s consent only if that consent were … Continue Reading

Senate Passes VPPA Amendment; Bill Heads to President Obama

Last night, the Senate passed an amendment to the Video Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2710, designed to make it easier for users to share their online video viewing activities.   (We’ve discussed the amendment’s content here and here.)  President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law.  Netflix, the most prominent backer of … Continue Reading

House Passes Updated VPPA Amendment

Continuing the flurry of activity around privacy legislation that we have seen over the past few weeks, the House today passed an amendment to the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”), 18 U.S.C. § 2710.  The bill would amend the VPPA by clarifying that a consumer may consent to the disclosure of her video viewing information … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses Privacy Lawsuit Against Pandora

Last week, Judge Armstrong of the Northern District of California dismissed a putative class action against Pandora alleging the Internet radio service had violated two Michigan state statutes by disclosing to third parties information about the plaintiff’s listening activity.  The plaintiff in Deacon v. Pandora Media, Inc. alleged that by (1) making publicly available his Pandora … Continue Reading

Rep. Lofgren Introduces Legislation to Update ECPA

Last Friday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the ECPA 2.0 Act, H.R. 6529, which would strengthen the legal standards for law enforcement to gain access to electronic communications and location information.  The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is more than 25 years old and is widely seen as needing modernization to address changes in digital … Continue Reading

Netflix to Settle Video Privacy Suit

According to court documents filed last week, Netflix has agreed to change its data storage practices and pay about $9 million to settle allegations that it unlawfully retained and disclosed customers’ video-viewing histories.  Specifically, Netflix agreed to decouple viewing history from identification information once users have been inactive for a year; to pay $30,000 to … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses Video Privacy Suit Against Sony

A judge in the Northern District of California recently agreed with the Seventh Circuit that the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) does not provide a private right of action premised solely on an allegedly unauthorized retention of information.  Plaintiffs sued Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (“SCEA”) and Sony Network Entertainment International LLC (“SNEI”) for alleged violations of the … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Strikes VPPA Claim for Retention Damages

The Seventh Circuit held yesterday, in a decision written by Judge Posner, that damages are not available under the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) for violations of the statute’s data deletion requirement, only for unlawful disclosures of video-viewing information.  Subsection (b) of the VPPA prohibits knowing disclosure of personally identifiable information that identifies a person … Continue Reading

Netflix, Redbox Sued for Allegedly Violating Renters’ Privacy

Two of the country’s largest video rental services, Netflix and Redbox, have been sued for allegedly violating the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”).  The plaintiffs in both suits contend that the rental services stored information about their rental histories for long after that information had ceased being “necessary” to provide the services for which … Continue Reading
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