Technology

The Ninth Circuit recently dismissed a putative class action by an online business over allegations that Google placed search results over the business’s website. While the district court had denied a motion to dismiss, the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that copies of websites are not chattel that could support a trespass to chattel claim and that the Copyright Act preempted the remaining claims of unjust enrichment, implied in law contract, and unfair competition.Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Dismisses Website Framing Claim as Preempted by Copyright

The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently granted in part a motion to dismiss a putative class action complaint asserting wiretapping, Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), and consumer protection claims relating to their eufy home security cameras and video doorbells (the “Eufy Products”).  See Sloan, et al. v. Anker Innovations Ltd., No. 22-CV-7174 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 9, 2024).  Plaintiffs contend in their complaint that the Eufy Products applied a facial recognition program to differentiate images of known and unknown individuals within home security services and purportedly misrepresented data storage and encryption practices for the Eufy Products.Continue Reading Illinois Federal Court Partially Dismisses Wiretapping, BIPA Claims Involving Home Security Products

A federal judge in the Western District of Texas recently sided with a growing trend of rulings adopting a narrow reading of the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) in dismissing a putative class action against the operators of a Texas Longhorns email newsletter.  The case involved tracking pixels embedded in videos that were linked in the newsletter but posted to public websites.  The court held that because the plaintiffs had not made a durable commitment through signing up for the newsletter, and because videos were not embedded in the newsletter, plaintiffs failed to meet the definition of “consumer” as defined in the VPPA.Continue Reading Judge Highlights Trend of Narrow Reading of VPPA In Class Action Dismissal

On October 24, a Nevada federal court dismissed a class action complaint against operators of hotels on the Las Vegas Strip alleging that defendants’ use of similar room-pricing algorithms constituted a per se illegal price-fixing agreement under Section 1 of the Sherman Act.  The decision, Gibson v. MGM Resorts International, No. 2:23-cv-00140 (D. Nev. 2023), rejected plaintiffs’ allegations of a per se illegal agreement among competitors or a hub and spoke conspiracy but granted leave to amend to plead a Rule of Reason theory. 

Algorithmic pricing refers to the use of software tools, typically offered by vendors, that include historical and/or contemporaneous data to dynamically propose prices to businesses.  In Gibson, plaintiffs alleged that Las Vegas hotel operators Caesars, Treasure Island, Wynn, and MGM violated Section 1 by “agreeing to all use pricing software marketed by the same company” resulting in “higher prices for hotel rooms than the market could otherwise support.”  Continue Reading Brief Stay: Vegas Hotel Case Dismissed

A California Superior Court recently certified a putative class action of California residents “who have used mobile devices running the Android operating system to access the internet through cellular data plans provided by mobile carriers.” See Order Concerning: (1) The Parties’ Expert Exclusion Motions; and (2) Plaintiffs’ Class Certification Motion, Csupo, et al. v. Alphabet

The Ninth Circuit on Friday held that vehicle infotainment systems that illegally record private communications might generate an injury-in-fact sufficient to satisfy Article III standing—but (without more) such recordings fail to injure a plaintiff’s “person,” “business,” or “reputation” as is required to gain statutory standing under the Washington Privacy Act (“WPA”).Continue Reading Are You Not Infotained?  The Ninth Circuit Tightens Statutory Standing Rules for WPA Claims

A federal district court in the Northern District of California granted a motion to dismiss a putative class action where the plaintiff claimed that the defendant violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”) § 631 for using a third-party chat feature on its website. The court dismissed the plaintiff’s claim for lack of Article III standing but granted leave to amend.Continue Reading Federal Court Dismisses Chatbot Claim for Lack of Article III Standing Where Plaintiff Could Not Show Concrete Injury

Only one claim survived dismissal in a recent putative class action lawsuit alleging that a pathology laboratory failed to safeguard patient data in a cyberattack.  See Order Granting Motion to Dismiss in Part, Thai v. Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network, Inc., No. 3:22-CV-315-KAC-DCP (E.D. Tenn. Sep. 29, 2023), ECF 38.Continue Reading All but One Claim in Pathology Lab Data Breach Class Action Tossed on Motion to Dismiss

A federal district court in the Northern District of California granted in part a motion to dismiss putative class action claims filed against Western Digital, a hard drive manufacturer whose older devices experienced a cyber-attack, where the plaintiffs alleged that their stored data was deleted but not that it was stolen.  While plaintiffs will be permitted to maintain claims related to the data loss, they lack standing to assert claims based on future data misuse.Continue Reading Federal Court Partially Dismisses Hacked Hard Drive Claims Where Plaintiffs Could Only Show Data Deletion, Not Theft

Courts and litigants continue to grapple with the new frontier of artificial intelligence (“AI”).  One recent case in California demonstrates a new wrinkle in this evolving landscape—the use of AI to aggregate class claims.

Because class settlements bind absent class members who do not object or opt out, Rule 23 requires courts to carefully review and approve them as “fair, reasonable, and adequate.”  An important part of this inquiry is making sure class members are given adequate notice of the terms of the proposed settlement and their rights.  When class members are required to submit claims to access settlement benefits, parties often turn to professional claims administration companies to assist in providing notice and facilitating the claims process.  Under Rule 23, courts closely monitor the information that flows from class counsel and claims administrators to putative class members to make sure it complies with due process.Continue Reading California Federal Court Clamps Down on ‘En Masse’ Class Claims Identified by AI