Posts tagged Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
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On June 3, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court in Van Buren v. United States reversed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s decision to uphold the conviction of Nathan Van Buren, a former Georgia police sergeant alleged to have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 (“CFAA”) when accessing a law enforcement database for a non-law-enforcement purpose against his department’s policy. Van Buren, the target of an FBI sting operation, had accessed the database to look up license plate information in exchange for money. The Court addressed a split in authority among the circuits regarding the scope of liability under the CFAA.

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On January 8, 2014, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chair of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, reintroduced the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2014, comprehensive information security legislation that would establish a national standard for data breach notification and require businesses to safeguard customers’ sensitive personal information from cyber threats. The bill also would establish criminal penalties for individuals who intentionally or willfully conceal a security breach involving personal data when the incident causes economic damage to consumers.

Time 3 Minute Read

On September 22, 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved three separate bills that would establish a national data breach notification standard.  Because the bills were approved on a party-line vote, and several other data breach bills currently are under consideration by other Senate committees, the prospects for these three bills in the full Senate are uncertain.

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Over the past several weeks, online tracking practices involving the use of Flash cookies and ETags have been the subject of new research studies, class action lawsuits and significant media attention.

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On June 9, 2011, two plaintiffs filed a class action complaint against Google in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.  The complaint alleges that Google’s Android phone “engaged in illegal tracking and recording of [p]laintiffs’ movements and locations … without their knowledge or consent” and that Google violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Florida statutory and common law by failing to inform Android users that their movements were being tracked and recorded through their phones.

Time 2 Minute Read

In late December 2010, consumers filed two class action lawsuits against Apple Inc., claiming that several applications they downloaded from Apple’s App Store sent their personal information to third parties without their consent.  Specifically, the consumers claim that Apple allowed third party advertising networks to follow user activity through the Unique Device Identifiers that Apple assigns each device that downloads applications.  The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, also named several application developers such as Pandora and The Weather Channel as co-defendants.

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On August 18, 2010, a complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleging that Specific Media, Inc. violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as state privacy and computer security laws, by failing to provide adequate notice regarding its online tracking practices.  The suit, brought by six web users, seeks class action status and over $5 million in damages, and cites Specific Media’s use of Flash cookies to re-create deleted browser cookies as one of the offending practices.

Time 1 Minute Read

Microsoft is urging Congress and the information technology industry to act now to ensure that cloud computing is guided by an international commitment to privacy, security and transparency for consumers, businesses and government.  A survey commissioned by Microsoft found that while the general population and senior business leaders are excited about the potential of cloud computing, most are concerned about the security, access and privacy of their information in the cloud and believe the government should establish laws, rules and policies for cloud computing.  Microsoft ...

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A class action complaint filed on December 9, 2009, in Illinois federal court alleges that WideOpen West, Finance, LLC ("WOW"), an Internet service provider, violated its users' privacy by "installing spyware devices on its broadband networks."  Valentine v. WideOpen West (N.D. Ill., No. 1:09-cv-07653).  This action against WOW follows the October 6, 2009, dismissal by a district court in California of similar claims against six out-of-state ISP defendants (including WOW) filed in November 2008 by the same lead plaintiff.  The court in Valentine v. NebuAd, Inc. et al. (N.D. Cal., No. 3:08-cv-05113) found that the ISP defendants were not subject to personal jurisdiction in California, leaving the now-defunct NebuAd as the only defendant in that case.  Plaintiff Valentine has now brought this action against WOW in the Northern District of Illinois.


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