News & Analysis as of

Privacy & Cybersecurity Update - September 2015

Adviser to European Court of Justice Says US-EU Safe Harbor Should Be Declared Invalid - An advisory opinion issued by the advocate general to the European Court of Justice states that the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor should be...more

Status Updates: Court nixes VPPA claim; lawyer suspended over blog posts; Facebook ‘unfriending’ cited in bullying decision

Tale of the tape. The Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), which requires video service providers to destroy personally identifiable information after a specified time, doesn’t provide a private right of action for plaintiffs...more

9th Circuit Holds No Private Right of Action for Data Retention Violation Under the Video Privacy Protection Act

The decision further aligns the circuit courts in holding that the private right of action is limited to the Act’s prohibition on unauthorized disclosures only. A recent attempt to expand the breadth of the private right...more

Industry Players Weigh In on Spokeo

A few months ago, we reviewed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to grant certiorari in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, and the implications that a ruling in the case will have on the landscape of litigation under privacy...more

Netflix Defeats Video Privacy Class Action

In Mollett, et al. v. Netflix, Inc., No. 12-17045 (9th Cir. July 31, 2015), the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action filed against Netflix, Inc. for alleged violations of...more

Anonymous Information Actionable under the VPPA?

Technology has allowed consumers to use Apps and devices to stream their favorite content at the touch of a button. The popularity of these streaming Apps and devices has raised legal issues with regard to privacy....more

Applying the Video Privacy Protection Act to Online Streaming

Passed in 1988, the VPPA prohibits a “video tape service provider” from “knowingly” disclosing a consumer’s “personally identifiable information” (“PII”) to third parties without his or her consent. The VPPA defines a “video...more

USA Today Defeats Video Privacy Class Action

In Yershov v. Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. d/b/a USA Today, No. 14-13112 (D.Mass. May 15, 2015), the District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently granted a motion to dismiss a putative class action...more

Court Applies Video Privacy Protection Act to the Internet Streaming Era; Declares Hulu the Victor

After nearly four years of litigation, Hulu has prevailed against claims that it unlawfully disclosed its users’ video viewing selections and personal identification information to Facebook and other online networks. In In Re...more

Court Further Clarifies Required Elements Of A Video Privacy Protection Act Claim In In re Hulu Privacy Litigation

After over four years of litigation on the cutting edge of modern Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA” or the “Act”) litigation, Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler of the United States District Court for the Northern District of...more

Too Much Information – Eleventh Circuit’s Review of Ellis May Define “Personally Identifiable Information” for Cell Phone Users

On March 2, 2015, The Cartoon Network Inc. (“Cartoon Network”) filed its response brief in Mark Ellis v. Cartoon Network Inc., asking the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the district court’s dismissal of the...more

Appellate Courts Being Drawn Into VPPA Fray

Last week the Third and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals assigned case numbers to the appeals of In re Nickelodeon Privacy Litigation and Locklear v. Dow Jones & Co., Inc., two recently dismissed class actions in which...more

Rewind and Replay: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of VPPA Suits against Viacom, Google and Dow Jones

Plaintiffs in two recently dismissed class actions alleging violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) filed notices of appeal this week, asking the Third and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals to hit the rewind...more

Courts Continue To Find That Unique Device Identifiers Are Not Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Under The Video Privacy...

Two recent federal district court rulings regarding the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) follow the emerging trend of decisions indicating that courts are reluctant to find violations of the VPPA for sharing anonymous...more

Dow Jones’ Disclosure Of User Viewing History Found Not To Violate Video Privacy Protection Act

On January 23, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia held that disclosure of user viewing history and a Roku viewing device serial number by Dow Jones Company (“Dow Jones”) did not violate the...more

Quoth the Maven: “Without More!” Federal Judge Dismisses Dow Jones VPPA Class Action, While Hulu Parties Square off Over...

A Growing Chorus of Federal Courts Finds User IDs, by themselves, Do Not Count as Personally Identifiable Information under the VPPA Recently, a federal district judge joined a number of his colleagues around the country who...more

Social Media: 10 Fundamental Questions All Businesses Should Consider About Their Online Presence

Twenty years ago, the social media world we now live in was the stuff of science fiction. Today, social media is a critical business tool creating unprecedented opportunities for direct consumer interaction, brand awareness,...more

When Plaintiffs Try to Fit Square Pegs in Round Holes – U.S. District Court Ends VPPA, State Law Class Action Against Viacom,...

On Tuesday, Jan.20, New Jersey Federal District Judge Stanley R. Chesler dismissed with prejudice the last remaining allegations in a multidistrict class action against Viacom and Google, formally ending plaintiffs’ suit...more

Advertising Law - December 2014 #3

FCC Proposes Online Disclosures for Broadcast Contests - The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a rule change that would allow broadcast stations to disclose on the Internet the material terms for contests...more

Advertising Law - November 2014 #2

Shhhhh…Whisper Faces Lawmaker Scrutiny Over Privacy Claims - Just how safe is the purported “safest place on the Internet”?: Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) wants to find out. The Chair of the Senate Committee on...more

Status Updates - November 2014 #5

..Tale of the tape. Remember the 1980s? Back then, watching a movie on demand meant visiting your local video store and renting the video tape version of the film that you wanted to watch (assuming it was available). During...more

Third-Party Provider Of Customer Service Falls Within Exception To Video Privacy Protection Act

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of Redbox Automated Retailer (“Redbox”), in a suit alleging that Redbox violated the Video Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2710 (“VPPA”). Sterk v....more

“Th-th-th-that’s All, Folks!” Federal Judge Dismisses Class Action against Cartoon Network, Finds Anonymous User IDs Don’t Qualify...

On October 8, Georgia Federal District Judge Thomas Thrash, Jr., dismissed a putative class action against The Cartoon Network, Inc., where the plaintiff alleged that the animation company violated the Video Privacy...more

Sterk v. Redbox: 7th Circuit’s Affirmation of Exceptions to the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA)

In a recent 7th Circuit decision, the court rejected an appeal that sought relief against Redbox Automated Retail, LLC under 18 U.S. Code §2710. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC utilizes a third-party, Stream Global Services,...more

Cartoon Network Defeats Video Privacy Class Action

In Ellis v. Cartoon Network, Inc., No. 14-cv-00484 (N.D. Ga. Oct. 8, 2014), the Northern District of Georgia recently granted a motion to dismiss a putative class action filed against Cartoon Network for alleged violations of...more

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