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Privacy Law Blog

Category Archives: Electronic Communications

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Is the Flap Over Microsoft Emails in Ireland Overblown?

Posted in Articles, Electronic Communications

Corporate Counsel published an article authored by Nolan Goldberg, Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property and Technology, concerning the recent decision compelling Microsoft to produce e-mails located on foreign servers. The article, entitled “Is the Flap Over Microsoft Emails in Ireland Overblown?”, provides a counter-point to critics who believe that Judge Preska’s Order will have broad implications… Continue Reading

Massachusetts Jury Finds Violation of Stored Communications Act and Massachusetts Privacy Laws

Posted in Electronic Communications, Privacy Litigation

In January 2011, David Cheng (Plaintiff) filed a lawsuit against his former co-worker and fellow radiologist, Laura Romo (Defendant), alleging a violation of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) and Massachusetts privacy law.  After the U.S District Court of Massachusetts denied Defendant’s motion for summary judgment on both counts, the case went to trial and the… Continue Reading

HHS Empowers Consumers to Know (and Enforce) their Rights Under HIPAA

Posted in Electronic Communications, HIPAA, Medical Privacy

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published on its website a series of factsheets designed to educate consumers unfamiliar with their rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules.  These four factsheets are described in detail below and are available in… Continue Reading

Is data breach notification compulsory under French law?

Posted in Data Breaches, Data Privacy Laws, Electronic Communications, European Union, Security Breach Notification Laws

On May 28th, the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (“CNIL”), the French  authority responsible for data privacy, published guidance on breach notification law affecting electronic communications service providers.   The guidance was issued with reference to European Directive 2002/58/EC, the e-Privacy Directive, which imposes specific breach notification requirements on electronic communication service providers. French legislator recently amended… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit: ECPA Protects Stored Communications of Foreign Citizens

Posted in Electronic Communications

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit held that “the ECPA unambiguously applies to foreign citizens.” In Suzlon Energy Ltd. v. Microsoft, Suzlon Energy demanded Microsoft to produce emails from the Hotmail email account of an Indian citizen imprisoned abroad. The district court held that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”) prohibited Microsoft from producing the documents even though the individual was not a U.S. citizen. The Ninth Circuit affirmed.

No Question about Quon: U.S. Supreme Court Unanimous in Overturning Ninth Circuit

Posted in Electronic Communications, Workplace Privacy

In an important decision for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a case involving an employee’s assertion that a government employer had violated the Fourth Amendment by unreasonably obtaining and reviewing personal text messages sent and received on employer-issued pagers. The decision, a victory for employers, provides helpful guidance for management of electronic communication systems and workplace searches. Read this alert to learn more about the decision and how it may affect you.

District Court Rules TCPA Applies to Text Messages Even Though Recipient Not Charged to Receive the Message

Posted in Direct Marketing, Electronic Communications

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently ruled that a plaintiff may maintain a suit for receiving an unsolicited text message under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, even though the plaintiff was not actually charged for receiving the message. In the ruling, the court noted that in enacting the TCPA, Congress was concerned with consumers’ privacy rights and the nuisances of telemarketing.

Attorney-Client Privilege Waived by Imputed Knowledge of Employee And Employee’s Attorney of Employer E-Mail Monitoring

Posted in Electronic Communications, Workplace Privacy

In August, we wrote about the ruling of a New Jersey appellate court in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., in which the court took a very narrow view of the ability of employers to monitor the e-mail communications of employees over its computer networks. In that case, which is now on appeal to the… Continue Reading

Rehearing En Banc Denied in Quon . . . With Dissent

Posted in Electronic Communications, Workplace Privacy

On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit denied rehearing en banc in Quon v. Arch Wireless, previously discussed here. The dissent (1) disagrees with the panel’s conclusion that the SWAT team members had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the text messages on the grounds that the decision undermines the standard established by the Supreme Court in O’Connor v. Ortega, 480 U.S. 709 (1987); and (2) finds that the method used by the panel to determine whether the search was reasonable conflicts with Supreme Court precedent holding that the Fourth Amendment does not require the government to use the “least intrusive means” when conducting a “special needs” search. The dissent can be found here. Judge Wardlaw’s concurrence in the denial of rehearing en banc can be found here. We will keep you posted on this one.

The Sixth Circuit Affirms Individual Expectation of Privacy in Emails

Posted in Electronic Communications

In a decision that will significantly impact the ability of the government to access electronic communications, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on June 18, 2007, affirmed a district court’s issuance of a preliminary injunction prohibiting governmental entities from obtaining Internet Service Providers’ (“ISP”) subscribers’ e-mail communications unless the subscriber first… Continue Reading