Stored Communications Act

News & Analysis as of

U.S. Court of Appeals Decision: Cell Location Data is Protected Under Individual’s Expectation of Privacy

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently considered whether cell site location data is protected by the Fourth Amendment. On June 11, 2014, the court issued its decision in favor of privacy rights: the...more

The Uphill Climb Continues for Privacy Class Actions: Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Claims Against Facebook, Zynga

On May 8, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California’s decision to dismiss with prejudice consolidated consumer class-action claims against...more

SDNY Significantly Broadens Reach of Warrants under the Stored Communications Act: Forces Microsoft to Produce Customer Email on...

Last Friday, in the Southern District of New York, U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV compelled extensive production of the contents of an unnamed user’s email account stored on a Microsoft server located in Dublin,...more

Microsoft Mail and the 4th Amendment: Do Any of Us Seriously Think We Have a Right Not to Have Email Seized as Possible Evidence?

A perspective on the recent Fourth Amendment and privacy considerations raised by Judge James C. Francis' recent Memorandum and Order: 'In The Matter Of A Warrant To Search A Certain E-Mail Account Controlled And Maintained...more

Plaintiff Taps Into Anti-Hacker Law To Bring Claims Against Employer Who Posted On Plaintiff's Social Media Accounts

The Fast Laner has previously addressed the headaches accessing employees’ social media accounts can create for employers, and a recent Northern District of Illinois case suggests those fears are well-founded. In Maremont v....more

Snooping e-Mail Case

Tempted to snoop on someone’s emails; perhaps to gain advantage in a dispute? DON’T DO IT. The Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) prohibits unauthorized access to web-based email accounts. ...more

Twitter, Evidence, Privacy and Social Media

A recent case, albeit one dealing with a governmental subpoena, shows that the SCA may not be the panacea that social networking sites think it is. In People v. Harris, Twitter sought to quash a subpoena it had received to...more

Employer Ownership of Social Media Accounts

If you have a business with a social media footprint (and what business doesn’t, these days), ask yourself this question: "How confident are you that you own the social networking accounts through which you are building your...more

Opened, Web-based Emails Are “Electronic Storage” as Defined by the Stored Communications Act (Massachusetts)

Cheng v. Romo, 2013 WL 6814691 (D. Mass. Dec. 20, 2013). In this action, the plaintiff sued defendant for accessing the plaintiff’s web-based emails without authorization under the Stored Communications Act (SCA). The...more

Facebook Updates Its Policies for Deceased Users

According to a February 21, 2014, news release, Facebook has made two updates to its policies regarding the accounts of deceased users. Previously, Facebook allowed one of two options for a deceased user’s account. ...more

Web-Surfing Your Job Applicants—TMI?

The ever-increasing volume of information that people—your current employees, former employees, and job applicants—publish through the use of social media, email, tweets, and other types of electronic posts can be helpful in...more

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION EDITION: As Americans Trudge To The Gym, We Review Trade Secrets Fights In The “New You” Industry

The gyms are packed, the diet cookbooks are flying off the shelves, and smokers are struggling to kick the habit. It’s the resolution season, and surveys say half of the top 10 most popular new year’s goals aim for better...more

Privacy Class Action – Theories of Liability – 2013 Year in Review

One hot area of data privacy litigation over the past several years has been data breach class actions brought under the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (“CMIA”), which provides that a person may recover...more

Class Action – Damages and Class Treatment – 2013 Year in Review

In 2013, theories of injury and damages revealed themselves to be deciding factors at the class certification stage of litigation and whether plaintiffs are able to prove damages on a class-wide basis. Even in those cases...more

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)... *Liability and Data Breach Sold Separately PPT Presentation

A majority of people recently surveyed believe that their cellphone is the first thing that gets noticed about them. With smartphones becoming a part of our identity and the convenience of carrying and using just one device,...more

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)... *Liability and Data Breach Sold Separately  [Video]

A majority of people recently surveyed believe that their cellphone is the first thing that gets noticed about them. With smartphones becoming a part of our identity and the convenience of carrying and using just one device,...more

Ownership of Business-Related Social Media Accounts

Social media platforms have become an increasingly important means for companies to build and manage their brands and to interact with their customers, in many cases eclipsing companies’ traditional “.com” websites. Social...more

Litigation Update – The Electronic Loss of Privilege

The art of communication has changed considerably over the past few years. Rather than in-person or telephonic, the majority of communications in today’s business world are electronically transmitted. Likewise, professional...more

New Jersey’s New Social Media Privacy Law Takes Effect

New Jersey is now among a growing number of states with social media privacy laws to protect personal social media accounts of current employees and applicants. On August 29, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that...more

Healthcare Update, No. 4, November 2013: Facebook: The New Water Cooler – Not The New Vegas

As of June 2013, Facebook, the reigning social-media giant, had 1.15 billion monthly active users who spent an average of 8.3 hours a month on Facebook. During roughly the same period of time, Facebook users "liked" a...more

Thoughts on the Stored Communications Act, Federal Preemption and Supremacy, and State Laws on Fiduciary Access to Digital...

As of the date of this posting, seven states have recently passed laws and at least eighteen other states are considering new laws granting fiduciary access to an incapacitated or deceased person’s online accounts and other...more

Employment Law -- Oct 23, 2013

In California, Arbitration Agreement Valid Despite Lack of Rules - Why it matters: California employers scored a victory with the Peng decision, with the court making clear that a procedural error in failing to include...more

Policies on Personal Use of Company-Issued Electronic Communication Devices

Many employers permit their employees to access personal accounts from company-issued electronic communications devices. They also permit employees to use their personal devices for work. Those rules are both convenient for...more

Google is No Cookie Monster, says Delaware Federal Court

In a decisive victory for Google and several co-defendants, a Delaware federal court dismissed the claims of a putative class of individuals who alleged that they were injured by Google’s practice of circumventing certain...more

Public Employees’ Facebook “Like” Is The Internet Equivalent Of A Political Yard Sign

The courts are taking steps to protect communications made via social media; e.g., Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp., No. 2:11-cv-03305 (D.N.J. Aug 20, 2013) (holding that private Facebook posts are protected...more

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