Privacy Law Blog

Tag Archives: Ninth Circuit

Ninth Circuit Reverses Class Action Coupon Settlement Because Attorneys Were Awarded Fees Based on Hours Worked Rather Than Coupon Value

On May 15 a Ninth Circuit panel reversed the district court’s approval of a class action settlement, holding that attorney’s fees awarded in connection with a coupon for the class members must be tied to actual redemption of the coupons rather than the time the attorneys spent working toward the coupon settlement. (In re HP … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit: ECPA Protects Stored Communications of Foreign Citizens

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. … Continue Reading

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

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. … Continue Reading

Geez Ruiz: 9th Circuit (Probably) Ends Long-standing Data Breach Litigation Against Gap, Inc. and Others

On May 28, 2010, in an unpublished decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the California district court's dismissal of a class action lawsuit against retailer Gap, Inc. because, among other things, the plaintiff failed to show that the loss of his personal information harmed him in a legally cognizable way. The Ninth Circuit's decision echoes those issued in every "identity exposure" lawsuit to date: an increased risk of identity theft does not a lawsuit make! … 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

Ninth Circuit Applies Pen Register and Mail Principles to Warrantless Monitoring of Internet Traffic

In a novel case, the Ninth Circuit ruled on July 6, as amended July 25, that government surveillance of Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses visited, to/from addresses of emails, and the total volume of information sent to or from an email account does not violate the Fourth Amendment. United States v. Forrester, No. 05-50410, — F.3d — … Continue Reading
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