The six-year fight over the type of harm a plaintiff must allege to satisfy the “injury in fact” requirement for lawsuits alleging false reporting of credit information took its latest turn this week. On Tuesday, August 15, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, on remand from the United States Supreme Court, issued its opinion- hyperlink to the opinion] in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, a highly-watched case challenging whether a plaintiff can satisfy Article III standing based solely on a technical violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Plaintiff Thomas Robins brought a putative class action for willful violations of the FCRA against Spokeo, Inc., a company that generates profiles about people based on publicly available data. Among other things, Robins averred that Spokeo published an allegedly inaccurate profile about him on its website and therefore harmed his employment prospects at a time when he was out of work. The Ninth Circuit’s three-judge panel held that the publication of materially inaccurate information about Robins sufficed as concrete injury for purposes of Article III standing, even without specific allegations of tangible harm from that publication.
On Monday, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Carpenter v. United States, a Sixth Circuit case that provides the Court with the opportunity to clarify whether individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy in location data shared with electronic communications service providers. Specifically, the Court will consider whether the Fourth Amendment requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant for the search and seizure of wireless carriers’ cell phone data that reveals the cell phone user’s location over the course of several months; or whether such location information falls within the long-recognized “third-party doctrine” exception to Fourth Amendment protections. A definitive Supreme Court holding on these issues could clarify presently muddled case law surrounding cell-site tracking data and perhaps inform judicial interpretations of privacy torts and other issues related to the collection, use, and sharing of location data.
On Monday, May 16, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its highly anticipated opinion in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, a case that examined the question of whether a plaintiff who sued for a technical violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act could maintain Article III standing for a class action without claiming any real-world injury. The case before the Court involved a putative class action brought against petitioner Spokeo, Inc., a company that generates profiles about people based on information obtained though computerized searches. Respondent Thomas Robins was one of the people with a profile on Spokeo’s website. According to Robins, the information on that profile was inaccurate. Robins filed a class-action complaint against Spokeo in federal court, alleging violations of the FCRA, which requires consumer reporting agencies to “follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of” consumer reports. The Ninth Circuit held that by alleging the violation of a statutory right Robins had satisfied the injury-in-fact requirement of Article III standing.
On February 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Clapper v. Amnesty International that a group of U.S. citizens and U.S.-based organizations did not have standing to challenge the constitutionality of a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that allows the U.S. Government to monitor the electronic communications of non-U.S. persons located on […]
Springboarding off our earlier report on the Supreme Court’s decision in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Hogan Lovells Privacy and Information Management practice co-leader Marcy Wilder and associate Eric Bukstein have published a more detailed look at the case. Read their BNA Privacy & Security Law Report for analysis of the decision.
The Supreme Court on June 27 granted certiorari in a geolocation tracking case that could have implications for companies that incorporate location-tracking features into their products or that monitor the locations of their employees for asset-tracking or business-productivity purposes.
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down today a Vermont law prohibiting pharmaceutical companies from buying or using prescription data for marketing. The decision, Sorrell v. IMS Health, holds that the state law prohibiting the sale or disclosure for marketing purposes of prescription data that identifies prescribers (but not patients) is an unconstitutional infringement on the free speech rights of pharmaceutical and data mining companies.
On April 26, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Sorrell v. IMS Health – the first case heard by the Court that considers the limitations that a state may put on mining health data for commercial purposes. Specifically, this case raises the issue of how the government regulation of data mining practices impacts both the privacy rights of individuals and the speech rights of companies – both data mining companies and their customers.
A brief summary of the April 19, 2010 oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of City of Ontario v. Quon, a Fourth Amendment privacy case on appeal from the Ninth Circuit.