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Category Archives: Mobile

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Court Refuses to Dismiss Biometric Privacy Action over Facial Recognition Technology Used by Google Photos

Update: On March 9, 2016, Google filed a motion requesting the court certify an interlocutory appeal.  In particular, Google contends that the following question satisfies the statutory criteria: whether the term “biometric identifier,” as defined in Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, includes information derived from photographs. We’ve closely followed the numerous biometric privacy disputes and legislative … Continue Reading

Liability under CDA Section 230? Recent Lawsuit Tries to Flip the Script against Social Media Service

UPDATE: In late October 2016, the parties notified the court that they were in discussions to settle the matter and would jointly stipulate to a dismissal of the action without prejudice.  On November 2nd, the court dismissed the action. Title V of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, also known as the “Communications Decency Act of … Continue Reading

Mobile App VPPA Suit Survives Spokeo Standing Challenge

In Yershov v. Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc., a user of the free USA Today app alleged that each time he viewed a video clip, the app transmitted his mobile Android ID, GPS coordinates and identification of the watched video to a third-party analytics company to create user profiles for the purposes of targeted advertising, in … Continue Reading

Of “Lunch Stands and Merry-Go-Rounds”: Ninth Circuit’s Rejection of FTC Authority Over “Throttling” Could Have Far Reaching Implications for Cable and Other Broadband Providers

On August 29th, a Ninth Circuit panel unanimously held that the FTC has no power to challenge “throttling” of unlimited data plan customers by mobile broadband providers as an “unfair or deceptive act.”  The panel found that a core source of FTC authority (Section 5 of the FTC Act) does not apply to any “common … Continue Reading

California Legislature Nearing Final Debate of Biometric and Geolocation Data Security Bill

UPDATE: Prior to the close of the legislative session, the amended AB 83 failed to make it out committee. With the session ending on August 31st, the California legislature is debating a bill (AB 83) that would expand data security requirements for businesses that maintain personal information of California residents to include, among other things, protection … Continue Reading

FTC Prevails in Action against Amazon for Unlawfully Billing Parents for Children’s Unauthorized In-App Purchases

In the wake of thousands of parental complaints about unauthorized in-app purchases made by their children, resulting in millions of dollars in disputed charges, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) brought suit against Amazon, Inc. (“Amazon”) in July 2014. The FTC sought a court order requiring refunds to consumers for unauthorized charges and permanently banning the … Continue Reading

Proposed Amendment to Illinois Law Would Have Changed Shape of Biometric Privacy Litigation

Late last week, the Illinois state senate considered an amendment tacked onto to an unrelated bill that would have revised the Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, a law that has been the subject of much debate and litigation in the past year.  This amendment had the potential to drastically affect the current litany of lawsuits … Continue Reading

User of Free App May Be “Consumer” under the Video Privacy Protection Act

This past week, the First Circuit issued a notable opinion concerning the contours of liability under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) – a decision that stirs up further uncertainty as to where to draw the line regarding VPPA liability when it comes to mobile apps.  (See Yershov v. Gannett Satellite Information Network Inc., No. … Continue Reading

Google Is the Latest Online Provider to Face Class Action over Collection of Faceprints

As we have previously written about, there are several ongoing biometric privacy-related lawsuits alleging that facial recognition-based systems of photo tagging violate the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).  Add one more to the list.  A Chicago resident brought a putative class action against Google for allegedly collecting, storing and using, without consent and in … Continue Reading

Important Circuit Court Ruling Limits Scope of VPPA Liability

The Eleventh Circuit issued a notable ruling this week limiting a mobile app’s liability under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), 18 U.S.C. § 2710, a law enacted in 1988 to preserve “consumer” personal privacy with respect to the rental or purchase of movies on VHS videotape, and which has been regularly applied to streaming … Continue Reading

Landmark Oracle-Google Android Copyright Dispute May End Up In Supreme Court

While many smartphone users were gazing upon their new iPhone 6 Plus’s 5.5-inch screen with wonder, there was another notable development in the mobile/tech world – the ongoing software copyright dispute between Oracle and Google over the development of the Android mobile platform just heated up again. This past week, Google filed a petition for … Continue Reading

Mobile Alphabet Soup…What Exactly Is an ATDS under the TCPA?

An Important Issue for Text-Message Marketers There has been an uptick in litigation under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. § 227 – likely due to the increased use of mobile marketing (not to mention the availability of statutory damages between $500 and $1,500 per violation).  And with the growth of easy … Continue Reading

Verizon Wireless Files RICO Suit against Mobile Marketers, Alleges Deception and Fraud in Evasion of MMA Guidelines Requirements for Short Code Campaigns

Cellco Partnership, doing business as Verizon Wireless, filed a lengthy complaint on March 7, 2011, against mobile marketing entities that have conducted short code marketing campaigns on its network. The complaint alleges that these entities failed to comply with the Mobile Marketing Association’s Consumer Best Practices Guidelines for Cross Carrier Mobile Content Services, which Verizon … Continue Reading
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