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California Supreme Court: Law Enforcement Officials May Search Cellular Phones Incident To Arrest

On Monday, the California Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution did not prohibit a deputy sheriff from conducting a warrantless, post-arrest search of the text messages of an arrestee. Specifically, the Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal that the cell phone was “immediately associated with [defendant’s] person … Continue Reading

COPPA Enforcement Action

Earlier today, the FTC announced its latest COPPA enforcement action (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/iconix.shtm).  Iconix Brand Group, Inc., the operator of websites featuring its apparel brands, was fined $250,000 for collecting personal information from children without complying with COPPA’s parental consent rubric. The FTC cited the websites associated with the brands Mudd, Candie’s, Bongo and OP, which are … Continue Reading

Media Companies May Block Maine Marketing to Minors Law

On Wednesday, August 26, 2009, a lawsuit was filed in federal court in Maine to enjoin Maine’s new predatory marketing to minors law, which was previously discussed on our blog. If not enjoined, this problematic law is scheduled to go into effect on September 12, 2009. The complaint, filed on behalf of offline and online entities, … Continue Reading

“Houston’s, We Have A Privacy Problem . . . .”

On June 16, 2009, in Pietrylo v. Hillstone Restaurant Group, USDC D.N.J. Case No. 2:06-cv-5754-FSH-PS, a New Jersey federal jury found that the Houston’s restaurant chain violated the Stored Communications Act (SCA) and the New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act(NJWESCA) by allegedly requiring an employee to surrender to Houston’s managers login information that … Continue Reading

Court Uses Computer Privacy Law to Crack the Whip on Use of Work Computer to Solicit Dominatrix-Prostitute

The Ohio Court of Appeals, in State v. Wolf, No. 08-16, slip op. (Ohio Ct. App. 5d April 28, 2009), recently upheld application of Ohio’s computer crime law to an employee who used his work computer to engage in criminal conduct (solicitation of a dominatrix-prostitute). While this holding may seem uncontroversial, another aspect of the decision … Continue Reading

Seven Days Is All She Wrote . . .

As our readers know, many of the 44 state data breach notification laws allow for (and may even require) a brief delay in notifying affected individuals of the breach if that notification would interfere with or impede a law enforcement investigation. Last week, the governor of Maine amended that state's data breach notification law. The amendment clarifies that notification may be delayed for no longer than 7 business days after a law enforcement agency determines that the notification will not compromise a criminal investigation. … Continue Reading

Oh, behave: EU cracks down on behavioral targeting in the U.K.

The European Commission announced this week that it might sue the United Kingdom if that country fails to limit the tracking and collection of users’ Internet browsing habits and personal information without prior consent. The United Kingdom until now has adopted a self-regulatory approach similar to that followed by the Federal Trade Commission (we reported … Continue Reading

No Privacy Cause of Action for Od(e)ious Myspace.com Posting

According to a new, partially-published California Court of Appeal decision, there is no cause of action for invasion of privacy under the California Constitution where a plaintiff’s myspace.com posting is republished in a newspaper.   In Moreno et al. v. Hanford Sentinel, Inc., et al., F054138, slip op. (Cal. Ct. App. April 2, 2009), plaintiff Cynthia … Continue Reading

U.K. Internet Publication Rule Upheld; Internet Viewings Constitute Republication

On March 10, 2009, the European Court of Human Rights held that the British Internet publication rule does not violate the right to free expression guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention. The case has profound implications for those bringing privacy- or disclosure-related tort claims based on materials available on the Internet – where U.K. law … Continue Reading

FTC Provides Last Clear Chance for Industry to Self-Police in a Target-Rich Environment

On February 12, 2009, the FTC issued its long-anticipated Staff Report on Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising. The revised Self-Regulatory Principles are the result of a year of study of the more than 60 comments provided by industry, advocacy organizations, academics, and individual consumers in response to the FTC's proposed self-regulatory principles issued in late 2007. … Continue Reading

Rehearing En Banc Denied in Quon . . . With Dissent

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. … Continue Reading

Enforcement of E-Verify Regulation Postponed Once Again

Today is Data Privacy Day and we bring you a special post regarding E-Verify from guest contributors Lawrence Lorber, Malcolm Harkins, and James Segroves, of Proskauer's DC office, and David Grunblatt of Proskauer's Newark office. Enforcement of a controversial federal regulation that raised significant privacy concerns has been postponed once again as the result of a legal challenge filed by Proskauer on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America and four other trade associations. See Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. v. Napolitano, Civil Action No. AW-08-3444 (D. Md.). The regulation in question would have required most government contractors and subcontractors to participate in E-Verify, an Internet-based system that allows employers to verify that individuals are eligible to work in the United States using an employee's Social Security Number and other personal information. Pursuant to a January 27, 2009 agreement between the parties, enforcement of the regulation has been postponed until May 21, 2009, in order to give the recently inaugurated Administration of President Barack Obama an opportunity to review the regulation. A notice to this effect is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on January 30, 2009. … Continue Reading

District Court Rules FACTA Inapplicable to Online Receipts

On December 8, 2008, in Smith v. Zazzle.com Inc., No. 08-22371-CIV-KING, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101050 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 9, 2008) Judge James Lawrence King of the Southern District of Florida held FACTA’s credit card number truncation requirement inapplicable to receipts displayed on-screen or printed by online customers.  Judge King dismissed the case on this … Continue Reading

Consumer Advocacy Groups Request Federal Trade Commission Action To Stop Perceived “Threat” From Mobile Marketing

In a year when behavioral advertising was already expected to be at the top of the hot button privacy issues list, on January 13, 2008, the Center for Digital Democracy (“CDT”) and U.S. Public Interest Research Group (“US PIRG”) filed a document with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) urging the FTC to investigate online mobile … Continue Reading

Zip Codes not “Personal Identification Information” under California’s Song-Beverly Act

On December 19, 2008, in Party City Corp. v. The Superior Court of San Diego County, the California Court of Appeal in the Fourth Appellate District held that zip codes are not “personal identification information” under California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971, California Civil Code Sec. 1747.08 (the “Act.”). The Act prohibits a retailer … Continue Reading
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