A recent federal court opinion raises concerns that privacy cases alleging violations of a standard user license agreement may be susceptible to class certification. Last week, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois certified a class in a consumer privacy lawsuit against comScore, Inc. Plaintiffs allege that comScore exceeded the scope of the [...]
On October 3rd, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit became the first appeals court to extend the protections of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”) to non-U.S. citizens when it held in Suzlon Energy Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp. that the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) provisions of the ECPA protect the confidentiality of all email communications stored in the United States, not just those of U.S. citizens. This broadening of the jurisdictional scope of the ECPA and SCA is likely to result in increased data privacy protection for foreign citizens, at least with regard to email communications that are physically stored on servers located in the U.S. In addition, the expanded scope of the law may simplify the process by which electronic communications service providers respond to requests for stored communications, likely alleviating the need to engage in an assessment of the citizenship of the data subject whose communications are sought.
Just as privacy remains front page news, it remains a subject of bi-partisan interest on Capitol Hill. This entry briefly describes (1) the oversight role Congressional committees are performing when privacy makes the news, (2) the establishment of a new Senate Judiciary Committee privacy subcommittee chaired by Senator Al Franken (D-MN); (3) the expected legislation to be introduced in the Senate; (3) the bills that have landed in the House and the other proposals expected there; (4) the focus on amendments to ECPA and CALEA; and (5) the contintuing innovations in state legislatures. In short, a two minute read on the state of privacy in the legislative branch.
This blog entry contains a link to an interview with Forbes of the Hogan Lovells Privacy and Information Management practice leader Chris Wolf, touching on current hot topics in the area.