In a lawsuit filed on Thursday on behalf of Californians, the City of Los Angeles alleged that the operator of The Weather Channel's mobile phone application has been "covertly mining the private data of users and selling the information to third parties, including advertisers."
On December 19, the attorney general of Washington, DC, filed a lawsuit in DC court against Facebook. The complaint alleges that Facebook's poor oversight and misleading privacy policies enabled Cambridge Analytica to gain access to the data of hundreds of thousands of DC residents, in violation of the Consumer Protection Procedures Act, D.C. Code §§ 28-3901, et seq., and asks the court to enjoin the social media company from continuing to violate the CPPA as well as for civil damages.
California legislators have proposed a tax on text messages to increase funds for programs that provide underserved residents with connectivity. The new tax plan, proposed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), would not charge per text message, but would implement a monthly fee based on a cellular bill that includes any charges for text messages. Most cellular carriers charge a flat fee for texting and include similar fees for other services, such as calls. The specifics of the charge associated with the tax would vary across carriers.
The US Supreme court will not hear two cases stemming from state efforts to prevent Planned Parenthood clinics from receiving funding under Medicaid. Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, and Alito voted to hear the cases, but Chief Justice Roberts and the newly-confirmed Justice Kavanaugh voted with the Court's liberal justices to turn the cases away; four votes are needed to hear a case. This split among the conservative wing of the Court may reflect Chief Justice Roberts' intention to keep the Court out of hotly contested issues, and of Justice Kavanaugh's willingness to follow along, at least for the time being.
The Data Protection Commissioner of Ireland released a report last week that discussed an investigation into a complaint against the social media network LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft. In the investigation, the Data Protection Commission found that LinkedIn U.S. had collected the email addresses of 18 million people who were not users of the network.…
Last week, a New Hampshire judge ordered Amazon to turn over an Echo smart speaker’s recordings that may have captured key evidence in a double homicide that occurred last year in Farmington. Investigators believe that the recordings may provide information that could help convict the murderer. The question arises: how much data can tech companies collect, store, and use, and what does that mean for privacy?
A federal judge has struck down the policy of a high school in Ponte Vedra Beach, which had required an 18-year-old student to use a gender-neutral bathroom. The judge found that the policy was unjustified because the student did not threaten the safety or privacy of other students. Thus, the transgender student…
Last Thursday California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), granting California consumers the right to request that businesses disclose the categories and specific pieces of personal information that they collect about the consumer, the categories of sources from which that information is collected, the business purposes for collecting or selling the information, and the categories of 3rd parties with which the information is shared. The law, which goes into effect January 1, 2020, also authorizes California consumers to opt out of the sale of personal information by a business and will prohibit the business from discriminating against the consumer for exercising this right, including by charging the consumer who opts out a different price or providing the consumer a different quality of goods or services, except if the difference is reasonably related to value provided by the consumer’s data. Moreover, the CCPA makes it more difficult for businesses to sell personal information for consumers less than 16 years of age.